April 26, 2016
THOMASVILLE, Ga. -- Students in Thomas County took a step back in time; but today's history lesson wasn’t from a textbook. Instead, author Annette Laing uses her books to inspire. The trilogy follows children from South Georgia who time travel back to World War ll.
Sixth grade student Chad Bryce Shroats put on a gas mask, a flashlight, a whistle and even a sweater to simulate life back in the 40’s.
"To actually get to touch the artifacts, that really makes it come alive for them," said Mandy West, a teacher at Thomas County Middle School.
The students couldn’t take their eyes off of Annette. They were mesmerized by her accent and clothes, but more importantly, her message.
"I’m trying to give these kids an idea of a world that’s totally different from there’s, but yet kind of the same-- that people don’t change that much," said Annette.
Although the people haven’t changed, the times have.
"It made me kind of think about how the children have been treated, what kind of housing they would have been living in and that kind of stuff,” said Zachary Wood.
But Chad said for him, it’s a reminder that he likes the time period he’s living in.
"I wouldn’t want to be a kid in England in the 1940's," said Chad.
For many of these students it was more than a history lesson.
"It makes me feel grateful," Chad explained.
"My hope is that what I do, through my books and through my presentations, is that it gets kids excited about history and thinking historically," Annette said.
History being preserved, not only in books, but by students just like Chad.
After Chad's willingness to participate in the dress portion, Annette gave him a shilling, a former British coin.
"I’m going to keep it forever, and I’m going to show all my grandchildren," said Chad.
A desire to continue to pass on the memories of the past.
Annette is the author of The Snipesville Chronicles series.