Stories in the schoolhouse

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Sitting on a quilt in an authentic 19th century schoolhouse and listening to stories read by a woman in long skirts sounds like it’s right out of history, but children can experience just that at Timber Tales Storytime at Fort Worth’s Log Cabin Village from 10 to 11 a.m Friday.

The Log Cabin Village is located at 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, which is west of University Drive South and one block south of Colonial Parkway.

The family event is entering its sixth year as a program at the village. Log Cabin Village educator Rena Lawrence said the program is geared toward children ages 3-5 in order to get children excited about going to a museum at a very young age.

“Timber Tales started as a way to engage our younger visitors,” Lawrence said. “A lot of times people have the incorrect perceptions that little kids don’t learn in museums. We’re making something relevant and we do relationship building.”

“We’ve had a lot of success with it and we enjoy being able to engage the kids when they’re little so they learn that museums are a cool place to hang out,” Lawrence said.

This monthly program is scheduled at the village’s one-room schoolhouse, which was moved to the location in 2003.

“The school is from 1872 and it’s our only Fort Worth structure,” Lawrence said.

With the exception of the blacksmith shop, all the buildings in the village are authentic from North and Central Texas and built in the 1800s. Usually the cabins are taken apart log by log and reassembled at the village, but the schoolhouse went through a different process.

Log Cabin Village director Kelli Pickard said the schoolhouse was moved without being taken apart. Because the roof was so steep, the rafters were removed and laid on the top of the structure while it traveled to the village from north Fort Worth.

“It’s pretty special because the stuff is real,” Lawrence said.

During Timber Tales Storytime, children will sing songs and listen a story in the schoolhouse. The stories, which are borrowed from the Fort Worth Library, are related to themes of the frontier, the 19th century or the heritage of Texas settlers. The event Friday will feature the story, “Kindle Me A Riddle: A Pioneer Story by Roberta Karim.

“One I usually do in October is about Anansi, the spider, which is a West African folktale to pay homage to West African Texas who would have been here as slaves during the 19th century,” Lawrence said. The folktale is featured in the story, “Anansi Does the Impossible.”

Lawrence used to dress in the 19th century clothing and read all the stories for the Timber Tales event, but now a historical interpreter delivers the program.

After the story, participating children have options of working on a story-related craft and seeing the rest of the village.

“It’s a very simple craft because I want the child to be able to do most of the activity themselves,” Lawrence said. “After that the organized part of the storytime is over, and the admission is paid for the day, so they can go check out our hands-on cabin and they can tour our other structures if they want.”

The event is capped at 30 kids, so parents may call 817-392-5881 for the required reservations. The program fee for Timber Tales is different from general admission. Participating children pay $4 and parents pay $3 instead of the normal $4.50 general admission fee. For more information visit www.logcabinvillage.org.
 

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