Town Meeting and Abolition and Social Change in 19th-Century New England run on separate dates. See below for details.

Times: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Meets at the Museum Education Building

Home school families and groups are invited to participate one or both of our popular youth civics programs this winter!

Things to know:

Town Meeting


Time: 9:30-12:30

Ages: 10+

Meets at Museum Education

Limit to 25 students

Price: $18

Students will participate in a modified version of our Town Meeting. In this civics-focused program, students participate in a mock town meeting where they explore the function of local government. The program explores the essential question “How should our town care for its poorest citizens?”

Led by museum educators, students will learn about the nature of poverty in the 19th century and the ways in which New England towns took care of those in need. After the lesson, students interview Villagers and gather different points of view. Finally, the group will convene at the Center Meetinghouse for a Town Meeting, led by a costumed educator, where they debate and vote on the issue. This interactive program encourages students to think critically, form arguments, and back up their opinions using historical information.

Abolition and Social Change in 19th-Century New England

Friday, February 10 | 9:30-12:30

Ages 10+

Meets at Museum Education

Limit to 25 students

Price: $18

Click here to register for Abolition and Social Change in 19th Century New England

Through primary sources and interactive experiences throughout the Village, students will learn about the ways in which the Northern states participated in the institution of slavery in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as well as the ways that some people fought against this system. Focusing on the 19th-century abolitionist movement, participants in this program will piece together a larger picture of the impact of slavery in a town like Sturbridge in the 1830s.

Students will begin with an educator-led lesson that explores Northern attitudes and complicity in the institution of slavery. In small groups, they will then visit specific sites in the Museum to look at primary sources. They will think deeply about the factors that influence their everyday choices and how they can use their own voices to create radical change. The program concludes with a guided discussion.

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