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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy photo Karen Dobbs, new McDonald County Historical Society president, wants to expand the educational outreach to include more students this year.

With new leadership in place, the McDonald County Historical Society plans to expand its educational outreach this year.

The new president, Karen Dobbs, said she hopes to expand the outreach to include more students, like home-school students and older students.

The society is fortunate in that volunteers have the support of the McDonald County School District. For three years now, volunteers have hosted every fourth-grade class in the county for tours. Each class is able to tour the McDonald County Historical Society Museum, which is located in the old courthouse at the Pineville Square.

Veterans speak to the children when they come for a tour. Dobbs said the tour and message from the veterans are very well-received.

"The children are very respectful and ask lots of good questions," she said.

"We work, hand and hand, with the school district. Other museums are envious because we have the support of our school district and they recognize that as a good resource," she said.

Though Dobbs isn't sure how the expansion will look, an idea is to have a veteran take his or her presentation to a classroom to tell about his or her experience in serving country.

The tours have been so successful, volunteers are interested in expanding that educational platform. The society is grateful to the McDonald County school system, which supports taking the history to the children so they know their heritage, Dobbs said.

"It really gives you a fantastic feeling to have the fourth-graders go through," she said.

Dobbs, who has been a member of the society for three years, wanted to continue serving as president. Former president Lynn Tatum did a wonderful job, Dobbs said, and she wants to continue to see the society achieve success.

"It's an active group with good leaders and it's a well-oiled machine. Volunteers have accomplished a great deal, and I want to see that continue, to flourish and to grow," Dobbs said.

The museum's normal season is from Memorial Day to the first of December. With cold temperatures and sometimes flurries flying, volunteers work hard during the winter months to make things happen for the opening in the spring.

Dobbs explained that volunteers have events, tours and requests during the winter, but generally work on new exhibits, clean and plan for spring. A great deal of work occurs in the winter because, once the museum is open, volunteers are busy assisting with operations and tours, Dobbs said.

On April 7, volunteers will host their annual banquet at the River Ranch. Funds secured supplement more than half of the operating budget for the rest of the year. The society does not have any paid employees, Dobbs added.

The museum kicks off its season on Memorial Day weekend, with a big event, "History Live!" The event is filled with volunteers who dress in period costume and give live demonstrations, such as Dutch-oven cooking, spinning wool and more.

As volunteers work diligently behind the scenes, they also are preparing to establish a cataloging system for artifacts. The goal is to launch that system, use technology and have it digitized. A historical home in Pineville, which served as the sheriff's home, is being used as the society's business facility.

As volunteers gear up for a busy winter, Dobbs is excited to take the helm, volunteering for a cause she says paves the way for future generations.

"We are serving a substantial purpose in the county, preserving history that's unique and colorful," Dobbs said.

General News on 01/25/2018

Print Headline: New Historical Society President Lines Out Goals For New Year

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