Hathaway Elementary students enjoy new experiences through field trips to downtown Washougal

Exploring Washougal

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The Two Rivers Heritage Museum volunteer Carol Phillips reads the story of Princess White Wing to second-graders from Hathaway Elementary School.

Hathaway Elementary School students had the chance to connect with their community recently with a fifth-grade field trip to the Washougal Library, Community Center and City Hall, while second-graders visited the Two Rivers Heritage Museum.The fifth-graders from the classrooms of Andy Schlauch, Erin Hayes and Carol Dinnel walked to and from school during the field trip.

“It is important for the students to get to know their community,” teacher Andy Schlauch said. “This is our second year and it was better than the first. We hope to make it an annual fifth- grade trip that all Hathaway kids look forward to.”

A highlight for several students was time spent visiting with Mayor Sean Guard.

“Mayor Guard was very personable and the kids really responded to him,” said Schlauch.

While visiting with the students, Guard gave his traditional high-five, which was received well by many.

“I’ve always wanted to high-five the mayor!” said Elizabeth Moreland.

The students were allowed to sit in the council members’ chairs at City Hall and ask questions of Mayor Guard and City Administrator David Scott.

Two of the groups participated in a mock City Council meeting where the “council” was participating in a land use hearing regarding a proposed movie theater in a neighborhood, complete with a mayor, full council and a movie theater developer.

“I was impressed with how the students were focused on and enthusiastic about what we were doing, their general knowledge of what city services are provided to the community, their excellent questions and their grasp of what types of issues or concerns might be at play if there really was a movie theater proposed in a neighborhood,” Scott said. “The teachers did a great job, too.”

While visiting the library, students were encouraged to get a library card, and were introduced to databases and resources available.

Student Hannah Tangen was very impressed, saying, “When we got to the library, it was like I was in Book World!”

“Many of our students live within walking distance of the local library,” said Kathy Stanton, Hathaway Elementary librarian. “Now that they know where it is and how to access it, we hope they will be more likely to go there.”

Using their library card, the students have the added benefit of accessing some of the library research databases, such as World Book Encyclopedia, from computers at the school.

Meanwhile, the Two Rivers Heritage Museum hosted nearly 75 second-grade Hathaway students on their recent field trip. About eight museum volunteers, organized by coordinator Lois Cobb, were on hand to lead the students through the museum and talk about the area’s rich history.

“One of our social studies learning expectations is for students to understand individuals who have shaped history in the local community,” Kramer said. “When the students returned to the classroom they chose to write about Princess White Wing or Dr. Louisa Wright. We appreciated the opportunity to learn about these individuals through the museum staff.”