Florence, KY

Week two of outreach began in the very hospitable town of Florence, KY, home of Turfway Park (formerly Latonia Racetrack). Most people don't know this, but Latonia was home to the Latonia Derby, a race that rivaled the Kentucky Derby in prestige until the Great Depression did them in. Probably the most famous winner of this Derby was the 1920 winner, Upset. Anyone out there know the great horse Upset beat at Saratoga earlier that year - so now his name is synonymous with a sports team that wins when they are not supposed to Florence Elementary was a diverse school of about 650 students. We focused on science with the 4th and 5th graders, then social studies for the 2nd and 3rd graders. The day ended with the "Thoroughbred Care" program, which culminates with dressing a student up like a horse. That's a great way to end the day. They fed me pizza for lunch, too. (not school pizza either...remember those rectangle, cardboard flavored "pizzas"?  

The next day was a change of gears as I headed to beautiful Bardstown to teach at Old Kentucky Home Middle School. I forgot my camera on this day and the next - so no pictures. I taught the program "Race Through Time to Mr. Kyle Woodward's classroom all day. This program really relies on its volunteers to make it come alive as we roleplay throughout the program. The last group of the day, which sometimes can be the most difficult because everyone is ready to head home, turned out to be the best.  Although I almost had to intervene when a volunteer got a little aggressive while holding a riding crop!  

Then it was off to one of my favorite cities in Kentucky - Owensboro. I saw more middle school students at College View MS. It was more social studies, except this time we focused on economics rather than history. I''m going back to Owensboro in November and will at that time write extensively on all the things I love about Owensboro - a food poisoning incident in 2007 notwithstanding. I'm back on the road Wednesday.  Have a great week everyone!

Ronnie Dreistadt

Manager of Education Services for the Kentucky Derby Museum.