background image
To advertise: 800-371-9938
Discover Western Prince William November 2018
Doug Horhota
I've shared part of my job of traveling to and working with
schools in this column. While readers can imagine what
this consists of by thinking back to a guest speaker or class
assembly from their youth, a few moments to expand on
what the Manassas Museum does and will likely be doing
in the future deserves a little more explanation.
When people think of a museum, which words come to
mind? I've asked this of many school children over the
years, and "old," "dusty," and "long-time ago" are just a few
commonly heard responses. While I'm thrilled when the
reply is "fun" or "interesting," the fi rst group of replies is
more common. The task of dissuading this reply is a major
reason I am in schools so often, why I keep going back, and
why the community is pleased with the presentations. From
the animal skins inside our Native American Trunk, to the
science experiments conducted as part of a pre-K program,
to Civil War replica bullets in the Virginia II trunk, these and
many more examples are just a few ways students can
touch, see, and feel the past, and by doing so, connect
these hands-on activities to lessons from the past. This
educational approach has been the pattern for many years,
tracing its roots to show and tell, but what is amazing are
new education trends and how young students are starting.
For a number of years, I've been involved in the National
History Day program, a central tenet of which is for a
student to independently determine a topic to study, conduct
research on this topic, and analyze their research to reach
a conclusion. Compared to when I went to school, things
have changed a little. Back in the day, research meant a
choice between the Encyclopedia Britannica or World Book
Encyclopedia to delve into a topic and learn more. But the
internet has changed our lives and especially opportunities
for students. For National History Day, students are highly
encouraged to utilize primary sources to conduct the bulk
of their research. This has the added benefi t of students
understanding the times and references of each source
and how perception of a research topic can change over
time, based on when the account was written. Truly, the
research can and does come alive by investigating fi rst-
person accounts of people who witnessed history.
National History Day is for 6th­12th graders, and we've
had students from Metz Middle and Osbourn High School
participate and exposed to this broader horizon. However,
when it comes to primary sources, what age would you think
useums and Schools:
A Partnership
is appropriate to
start? Consider it
this way: when did
you fi rst become
exposed to a
primary source
such a Shakespeare, Jefferson, or Newton? I encourage
anyone interested in learning about what students do today
to look up the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)
guidelines and see some of the things that students are
tasked to do, including the following:
Demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical
analysis, economic decision making, and responsible
citizenship by using artifacts and primary and secondary
sources to develop an understanding of Virginia history.
This is from the 1st-grade curriculum! In accordance with
these changes, our travelling trunk program has installed
maps, written accounts, cartoons, and photographs for
students as young as age six to learn about the past from
the people who witnessed an historical event. Examples
include a journal from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a
Native American creation story, and a painting of a woman
weighing coins based on their gold weight from the 17th
century. This year, our National History Day students began
by looking up primary sources on voting. While I challenged
them by including the Funeral Oration for Pericles from 431
B.C., they came up with letters written by Susan B. Anthony
in 1872.
In an ever-increasing occurrence, conversations
are continuing with state offi cials, local
and national museums, and schools and
administrators, and this is just the beginning.
As we all know, it is best to get information
from the best source in the never-ending
quest for knowledge. Students, around the
time they learn to read, will now be able to
determine their area of expertise with more
regularity on history and other subjects
and then apply established standards
and expectations of the accumulation and
meaning of being educated in part by learning
from the people who were there.
I can't wait to learn with them.
Items from the Manassas Museum's
VA I (Colonial America) Trunk
African-American Culture
Civil War Camp Life
Ve r o ni c a M usi e
recalls her mother's
c o ok ing -- f resh,
healthy, and delicious
food -- so fondly
that she eventually
decided to open
her own restaurant.
Vera's Kitchen
Desta opened in
Manassas last May,
offering fusion fare
from America to Veronica's native Ethiopia,
and beyond! "I've always been passionate
about food," Veronica says. "It brings everyone
together." Some of the authentic Ethiopian
dishes offered include lentil hummus, served
with injera (a sourdough flatbread) crisps,
as well as beyaynetu, a vegetarian dish of
lentils, collard greens, cabbage, split peas,
and chick peas served with injera, quinoa,
or rice. Specials like lamb stew also make
appearances, and coffee connoisseurs won't
want to miss out on trying Ethiopian coffee--
roasted and ground onsite and served in a
special pot for two. A breast cancer survivor,
Veronica is honored to donate a portion of
restaurant proceeds to Alpha Breast Cancer
Support and Services, a local nonprofit
organization that she established. To learn
more, call
(703) 479-7655.
B o a r d g a m e s
date back to the
beginning of history
and are stronger
than ever today.
Game aficionado
John Hornberger
has combined board
games with good food
and drink into a single
Crossroads Tabletop Tavern,
which recently celebrated its grand opening
on Main Street in Manassas. "I not only want
to be a home for game hobbyists," John says.
"I want to show non-gamers what they have
been missing." The two-floor tavern offers a
variety of spaces for groups of various sizes
to gather for playing the approximately 1,400
games that are onsite--John's personal lifetime
collection of favorites--and he has another
800 games at home that didn't make the first
cut! "The best game depends on the people
you're with," he says. To that end, he has
organized games into a variety of general
categories that are then further broken down
into subcategories. Daily themes like "Mental
Monday" and "Tutorial Tuesday" have been
popular as well with different crowds, who
appreciate the tasty (and game-themed) fare
too. To learn more, call
(571) 364-8885.
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
Vera's Kitchen Desta
Opens in Manassas
Great Food and Games at
Crossroads Tabletop Tavern
Veronica Musie
John Hornberger