Old Independence Regional Museum will host Home School Days April 16 and April 23

Old Independence Regional Museum will host Home School Days on Mondays, April 16th and 23rd. This spring the theme is the White River, which played an important role in Arkansas’ history and the lives of the early settlers and pioneers.  The river provided water, food, transportation, and recreation, but flooding was a frequent threat.

“Once again we are offering the same program on two different days, so families have a little more flexibility when scheduling.  We encourage all area home schooled students to attend this day at the museum that is designed just for them,” states Amanda Nikkel, Humanities Educator and Volunteer Coordinator. Nikkel goes on to say, “Many of our regular attendees are beginning to feel like members of our museum family.  We always enjoy seeing returning students and really look forward to meeting new ones.”

“The museum is thrilled to collaborate with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for this spring’s Home School Days,” Nikkel comments.  A representative from Arkansas Game and Fish will be on-site, with their1000 gallon mobile aquarium, leading a session about aquatic resources. The aquarium is stocked with a large variety of native fish species and aquatic turtles.

Museum staff and volunteers will lead sessions about pearling and shelling, river travel, early settlements, and recreation. As part of these sessions students will make cane fishing poles, create a model flat boat, and draw river maps. Students will also learn about the legend of the White River Monster, and will create their own interpretation of this monster.

The museum has several artifacts from the pearling and shelling industry in its collection.  Students will get to feel how heavy some of the early diving helmets were and learn about the hard work and long hours that went into shelling.  Mussel shells will also be on display for students to examine.

Please call the museum to register for one of the days. A $5 program fee per participant must be paid in advance to hold your spot in the program.  There is a limit of 50 participants each day.  “In the past, Home School Days have met capacity before the day of the program, so anyone interested in participating will want to reserve a space soon,” said Nikkel.

This humanities program is made possible by local support from Independence County and the City of Batesville, as well as by Challenge Grant Endowment funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Old Independence serves a 12-county area:  Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.  Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820s Arkansas territory.

The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children.  The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.   During your visit, stop by our gift shop.  We stock many items from local artists, authors, and crafters, as well as historical toys and games.