Saturday, February 15, 2014

Family Field Trip!

Celebrate Presidents Month
by Taking Young People to a
Presidential Library or Historic Site

More than twenty states boast presidential birthplaces, historic homes, libraries, and museums. Many of these very special places include extensive exhibits profiling events from the campaign trail and include not only samples of campaign posters and other memorabilia, but also audio and video exhibits that enable you to hear or watch the key events from the president's term in office.

Before visiting a presidential museum or library, be sure to check out the special activities calendar by calling ahead or reviewing the website because many libraries offer child-friendly and family-oriented activities to engage young people. For a comprehensive guide to finding presidential sites and museums, listed by state, check out the NCBLA’s Field Trip Guide for Presidential Birthplaces, House, and Libraries on the website. 

Veteran educator Marcy Prager of the Brookline Public Schools enjoys taking her students on a field trip to the John F. Kennedy home in Brookline, Massachusetts, where Kennedy was born. Upon returning to school, Prager asks her students to each sketch a favorite room in the Kennedy house and write about the activities and events they learned used to be held there.

If visiting a presidential museum or library in person is not possible, you can visit one virtually by checking out content on the library’s website. Many presidential museums and libraries offer articles, curricula, and other resources you can download and use free. For example, the Jimmy Carter Library website ( is now offering a multi-disciplinary educational curriculum titled “The President’s Travels” with content for students in grades 2 through 12. And the research section of the George Bush Library’s website ( offers online access to some of its print and audio-visual archives. Included in the visual archives are photographs from Bush’s life, including his time in public office. The photos are organized by topic, such as Various Campaigns, US Vice President, US President, and Presidential Transportation.