Mount Prospect Historical Society Launches Unique Living History Experience

Schoolmarm Julie Vowinkel goes over the school rules.

Students from area schools are now able to experience a school day straight out of the past.

Thanks to the restoration of the Village’s original one-room 1896 schoolhouse, Central School, the Mount Prospect Historical Society is pleased to announce a new phase in its programming.

Attentive students in one-room schoolhouse.

“After months of planning, we are thrilled to be launching this program,” said Deb Rittle, Schoolhouse Project Coordinator. “We envision this program helping future generations to learn and cherish the history of our community. Not many original one-room schoolhouses still exist in our state, or even in our country for that matter, so Central School will offer a valuable and unique educational experience for students and teachers in our community and beyond.”

Under the direction of a Schoolmarm or Schoolmaster, students will experience what learning was like in a one-room multi-age classroom straight out of the past. The experience includes reading, writing and arithmetic lessons, as they were taught to school-aged children of the past in Mount Prospect. A recess break during which students play back-to-basics games of a by-gone era is even included.

Schoolmaster Dave Gudjonis recites from McGuffey’s First Eclectic Readers.

Set in 1896, the two-hour experience is aligned with Common Core State Standards and is rich in local history. During this interactive field-trip, modern students take on the roles of students from Mount Prospect’s past as they recite the ABCs of Central School, read from McGuffey’s First Eclectic Readers, practice their handwriting on slates and participate in a spelling bee.

The experience is offered as both a morning and an afternoon session Tuesday through Thursday. Teachers or home school coordinators may make reservations for the experience through the Society’s web-site at or by calling the Society at 847/392-9006.

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