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Readshaw's raiders
 news release--More Pa. students don't just study history, they preserve it


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CONTACT: Jay Purdy (717) 787-7895

HARRISBURG, June 29--A growing number of Pennsylvania students have stepped forward and become major players in the crusade to preserve the Pennsylvania monuments at Gettysburg.

Today, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, leader of the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project, announced that during the 2000-01 school year, Commonwealth students raised nearly $19,000 for the perpetual endowment trusts for the 146 regimental monuments and markers on the historic battlefield that honor the Keystone State soldiers who helped turn the tide of the Civil War on July 1-3, 1863.

The student contributions came in response to the Monument Challenge begun two years ago by Readshaw in his campaign to restore and preserve the Commonwealth's monuments at Gettysburg, all but one of them paid for by the General Assembly and erected by the veterans who took part in the battle.

A growing number of elementary schools are participating because American and Pennsylvania history are especially emphasized in the fifth-grade curriculum. The Pennsylvania State Education Association has endorsed the Monument Challenge and encourages teachers to get their students involved.

With funding now secure for the immediate restoration needs of the Pennsylvania monuments, project supporters, dubbed "Readshaw's Raiders," have turned to raising $425,000 to ensure that funds are on hand for any future maintenance the monuments need.

Readshaw and two staff members launched the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project in 1997 after he read a newspaper account of the effects of time, weather, millions of visitors and vandalism on the monuments within the Gettysburg National Military Park.

"The most thrilling aspect of seeing the school kids involved in the preservation effort is the knowledge that in the years to come, many of them will visit Gettysburg with their children and grandchildren. They'll be able to tell them proudly and without exaggeration: 'See that monument? I personally helped keep it standing.'

Participating schools in the Monument Challenge, 2000-01

  • Upper Merion Middle School - King of Prussia PA $448.13
  • Hempfield Area Senior High School $455.00
  • Andrea Valentin from Pequea School $255.00
  • Paynter Elementary - Pittsburgh PA $525.00
  • Warren Miller Elementary School - Waynesburg PA $2,150.00
  • West Lake Middle School - Erie PA $1,337.37
  • Blue Mountain High School, Schuylkill Haven PA $350.00
  • Corpus Christi School, Chambersburg PA $261.81
  • Herbert Hoover Elementary, Susquehanna Twp. $4,100.00
  • Governor Mifflin Intermediate, 5th Grade, Shillington $300.00
  • Jefferson Hills Elementary - Pittsburgh PA $2,467.38
  • Cold Spring Elementary K Kids- Willow Grove PA $1,713.50
  • Linglestown Elementary 5th Grade - Dauphin County $4,530.00
  • S. Williamsport Area Jr. Sr. High School - Leo Club $100.00
Total $18, 993.19

"And those children, in turn, will be able to the tell next generation that their grandmother or grandfather helped save the monuments that stand before them."


more information:

Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at gettysburg@pahouse.net or by phone, 717-783-0411.

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