Fourth graders at Park Elementary School plan to share the history of women’s suffrage through museum exhibitions in Glenwood Springs and The Animas Museum.
The exhibitions will feature historical women’s suffrage photos taken in Colorado and the stories behind them, said Amanda Cricco, a fourth grade teacher. The exhibitions will cap the students’ recent study of the women’s suffrage movement that lasted more than 70 years. Women were granted the right to vote in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified.
“(Students) really understand the struggle that it took to get this passed,” Cricco said of the amendment.
For each photo, students created videos and audio stories that visitors can access through their cellphones when they visit the exhibits, she said.
In addition to sharing the stories, students talk about how the women’s right to vote affects their lives now and equal rights in general as part of their projects, she said.
For girls, the benefit of the 19th Amendment is fairly obvious, and some students highlighted how they will be able to vote when they turn 18, Cricco said. Some boys in class said the ratification of the amendment prevents modern conflict and are grateful it passed, she said.
Fourth graders Seamus Callahan, Corvan Hendrickson and Owen Martinez, all 10, said they would support the 19th Amendment if it was pending today.
“It doesn’t feel right for women to not have as many opportunities as men,” Callahan said.
Cricco will travel with about 35 fourth graders to install the exhibit in Glenwood Springs this week, she said. Students will work on the exhibit with students from two other schools: Bea Underwood Elementary in Garfield County and Riverview School in Glenwood Springs. The exhibit is expected to be on display for about a month.
Students from the three schools have been studying the same women’s suffrage curriculum developed by EL Education, a nonprofit focused on expeditionary learning, Cricco said.
The expeditionary learning model develops critical thinking skills and encourages students to take active roles in their communities, according to EL Education.
The students will set up the exhibit in Glenwood Springs as part of EL Education’s Better World Day, an event held to make the “world a safer, stronger and more just place,” according to the nonprofit.
Park Elementary fourth graders will install a similar exhibit at The Animas Museum on May 24, Cricco said.
The exhibit will be open from 1:30 to 5 p.m. May 24 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 25 at The Animas Museum. Admission is $5 to see all the exhibits, including the students’ work.