My mom loves history. Really, really loves history. Growing up, she would take us to the smallest towns’ museums if there was any kind of historical significance. This constant exposure to history, coupled with her infectious enthusiasm, gave me a love of history and feeling of inspiration when I encounter it in a tangible form.
Moving to Charleston was, in that sense, a sensory over load. Here on our tiny peninsula is where the Civil War began and the reverberations of that war are still seen everywhere in Charleston, today. There are multiple opportunities to learn about history every where you turn (even without trying).
Ft. Sumter, where the first shots of the war were fired is, however, only accessible by boat. It is a remarkable site and one that each child should visit while learning of the war in school. Many children do, in fact, come from private boarding schools to visit this site and learn first hand. The sad thing is, many of our area students have lived in the shadow of this historic site and never been able to reach it.
History education is a top priority for the Trust. Kids to the Parks is our program that facilitates school field trips to Charleston’s historic National Parks. These visits spark excitement and interest in learning. Kids to the Parks has enabled nearly 2000 visits since 2012, earning the praise of students and teachers alike.
As the acting Treasurer of the trust, this is my shameful plug to donate to our cause or just to pass the word. There are friends groups for national parks all over the country. If you don’t feel that Ft Sumter hits you personally, perhaps check out the friends group nearest you. These groups are necessary because National Parks can’t raise money themselves, so trusts/groups like ours are required to raise anything over the budgeted government funds. So if you’ve ever been moved by history in any form, large or small, here’s your opportunity to give back.