for immediate release
Linglestown Elementary fifth graders decline gifts,
HARRISBURG, Dec. 15 - Suppose you're ten years old and your fifth grade class has a program where you exchange gifts with your classmates. What child wouldn't be looking forward to that with great anticipation?
At Linglestown Elementary School in Dauphin County's Central Dauphin School District, a class has volunteered to forgo the $3 gifts and instead, donate the money to the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project. Not only that, the students of teacher Christy Ganoe and other fifth grade classes have picked up the gauntlet of the Monument Challenge and will raise additional funds to benefit a Pennsylvania monument honoring a regiment that included volunteers from Dauphin County.
The challenge is part of the campaign of state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, to restore and preserve the 146 Pennsylvania monuments and markers on the Gettysburg battlefield. All but one of the monuments were originally erected through state funds.
Funds now are in place to restore and clean the monuments, and Readshaw has turned his crusade to raising money for perpetual endowment trusts to fund future maintenance needs. The Pennsylvania State Education Association has joined with Readshaw in promoting the Monument Challenge program in schools across the Commonwealth. The Linglestown Elementary fifth grade is the first group from a Dauphin County school to enlist.
At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19 at the school on Mountain Road in Lower Paxton Township, a member of Readshaw's staff will give a presentation to students about the history and goals of the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project and fill them in on two Gettysburg monuments of local interest that need endowment funding. The students will choose which monument they want to assist. Media coverage is invited.
"Not only will the students learn more about this era in the history of America and Pennsylvania," Readshaw said, "the project will connect them to the people from the area of their own neighborhood who played important roles in the epic Battle of Gettysburg that set our country on the course it now follows.
"Thirty or 50 years from now, they'll be able to take their children or grandchildren to Gettysburg and point to a particular monument and tell them how, as a child, they personally helped keep it standing."
Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 717-783-0411.
Updated: December 15, 2000
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