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Education

The study and preservation of history provides a gateway into the human experience that is not only a remembrance from where we have come, but it functions as a guide to navigating the years ahead. The Polk County History Center preserves the past but it is dedicated to enriching the county’s future through tours, programs, activities, lectures and community outreach.

Walk-in visitors are always welcome to tour the History Center using our self-guided tour materials. Educational programs and tours, designed for students and other large groups, are outlined below.

Types of Tours Offered

Self Guided Tour

Description

This program is focused on sharing Polk County’s rich history. During your visit, Polk County History Center staff will provide an introduction and orientation to your group as a whole. Following this, large groups will be asked to break into smaller groups which will be assigned a gallery to begin their exploration in. For school groups, we suggest groups of five to seven students per chaperone or educator. Groups are asked to start in specific galleries to avoid overcrowding. Groups can then explore the History Center at their own pace.

Scheduling

  • Groups may request a reservation two weeks prior to their intended visit.
  • Groups can be no larger than 120 people.

Guided Tour

Description

This program is focused on sharing Polk County’s rich history. During this tour a guide will introduce you to the Polk County History Center and lead you through three galleries. The three galleries visited are: Pioneer Gallery, Community Gallery, and Government Services Gallery. Following this, you are welcome to explore additional galleries at your own pace.

Scheduling

  • Groups must request a reservation two weeks prior to their intended visit.
  • Groups can be no larger than 25 students.

Story Seekers

Description

This program is focused on sharing the Polk County History Center with fourth graders. To allow for an experience that emphasizes exploration and provides ample opportunity to visit all of the galleries, chaperones and educators are provided a Story Seekers pamphlet.

History Center staff will welcome and orient students and adults. Classes are then asked to break into smaller groups (typically groups of five to seven students led by a chaperone or educator) and assigned a gallery in which to begin their exploration. Adults can then lead students through the History Center at their own pace while using the Story Seekers pamphlet to engage students.

Scheduling

  • Groups must request a reservation two weeks prior to their intended visit.
  • Groups can be no larger than 120 students.
  • Content is geared toward fourth grade level learners.

Journeys in Justice

Description

This program is focused on sharing Polk County’s rich judicial history with middle school students. To continue to enhance the experience here at the History Center, we have prepared three complete civics lesson plans. “Whose Case Is It Anyway?” is designed to be used before visiting the Polk County History Center and “Who Has the Right to Vote?” and “The Changing Constitution” are designed to be used after the visit.

When classrooms visit the Polk County History Center they will visit the 1908 court room, participate in a mock trial, and tour several galleries.

Scheduling

  • Groups must request a reservation two weeks prior to their intended visit.
  • Groups can be no larger than 30 students.
  • Content is geared toward middle school level learners.

Young Litigators

Description

In this program, classes can visit the History Center to explore the judicial process in Polk County and the role of county government. During the visit students will be led on an educational tour of the historic 1908 courtroom and the government services gallery.

Scheduling

  • Groups must request a reservation two months prior to their intended visit.
  • Groups can be no larger than 30 students.
  • Content is geared toward high school level learners.

Oak Hill Cemetery Tour

Description

Learn about historic Oak Hill Cemetery and those interred here. The tour starts at the History Center with a short one-mile walk that includes historic landmarks along the route. Oak Hill Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 with the earliest recorded burial dating to 1860.

The cemetery tour is offered at 11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month, November through April. The cemetery ground is uneven and visitors are advised to wear appropriate footwear.

Scheduling

  • Groups may request a reservation prior to the tour.
  • Walk-ins welcome.

Polk Heritage Classroom

Description

The Polk Heritage Classroom is an education curriculum on Polk County and includes three video episodes, which include: