The Johnson School Legacy Project is a five-month-long learning initiative at the Johnson School, managed by Charleen Belcher, the Library Media Specialist, and Grace Magley, the Director of Digital & Personalized Learning. The project kickoff event, held on January 16, was met with great anticipation by the second, third, and fourth-grade students participating.
This project is a prime example of project-based learning, where students have the unique opportunity to learn directly from alumni and experts about the school’s history, often through live interviews. They are tasked with compiling these insights, preserving the rich memories and experiences associated with the Johnson School, which has been a significant part of the Natick community for 75 years.
Among the alumni sharing their experiences was a former student, Lemon, who graduated nine years ago. She joined remotely from her college dorm room, reminiscing about her time at Johnson School, particularly a memorable experience learning about the lifecycle of chickens. John Murphy, another alumnus who attended the school from 1955 to 1960, also shared his fond memories, highlighting the strong relationships formed during his time there.
A notable revelation for the current students was learning about the different experiences of past generations, such as Murphy’s 50-minute lunch periods and the freedom to go home for lunch.
Belcher emphasized the importance of inquiry-based learning, encouraging students to ask questions and explore aspects of the school’s past that are yet unknown. The project aims not only to educate current students about their school’s history but also to document and commemorate these stories for future generations.