The Journey to Greatness: Character Lessons from the past was, developed in 2010 by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Historian Tim Townsend, and will this year culminate in a grand finale celebration on Saturday, May 19, from 1pm to 3pm at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site Visitor Center.
The program allows the park to reach underserved communities by partnering with different organizations in the surrounding area. It has grown into a very successful program that has allowed Lincoln’s Home to work with organizations such as Compass for Kids.
Current program coordinator, Park Ranger Brycen Turnbull said, “It is just a wonderful program. The students learn about adversity, how these amazing figures from the past like Lincoln, MLK, Tubman, and Douglass faced adversity somewhat like theirs and made good decisions to become someone truly great.” He said the children learn not only this but that they too can follow this journey to greatness. “Watching the children learn, become excited about the limitless possibilities that wait for them, and see that motivation within them is one of the most rewarding things about my job.”
The Journey to Greatness: Character Lessons from the Past program has been taking place at the five Compass for Kids sites this school year. The non-profit also participated last year.
Compass for Kids Executive Director, Molly Berendt, said the program had proved extremely popular amongst Club Compass participants. “The 4th and 5th graders spend multiple weeks learning about historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and what these historical figures went through when they were young, hopefully serving as an inspiration to our children.”
Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, Jr. will be at the celebration on Saturday and will each be giving a speech. There will also be an oratorical contest that some of the Compass for Kids students will be participating in, with prizes for first, second, and third place. The event is open to the public.
Compass for Kids is currently running a match campaign to raise $25,000, you can send a check to Compass for Kids, 501 S 4th Street, Springfield, IL 62701 or contribute via the website. For more information, or to help spread the word, visit the Facebook page.