“Stop that trickin’ and start that thinkin’,” Abigail Gollaher, portrayed by Doyne Carson, told the fourth graders at Milford School. As Gollaher, Carson was teaching the students about the early years of Abraham Lincoln’s life.
Carson was at the school Thursday as part of The Honeywell Center’s Education Outreach Program. “We contract artists, musicians, jewelry makers to come to the school at no cost,” said Hayley Beauchamp, communications manager at The Honeywell Foundation.
The EOP has brought a number of interesting programs to Milford School, and throughout the county. Last fall, Yurtfolk introduced students to music, instruments and dances from all over the world. Earlier this month it brought Poetry Alive to the school.
“This program specifically talks about Abraham [Lincoln]’s childhood,” Beauchamp said. Carson’s character is the fictionalized sister of Austin Gollaher, one of Lincoln’s childhood pals.
Dressed in period clothes, armed with props and speaking with a tinge of southern drawl, Carson spent the better part of an hour amusing the students with educational anecdotes of the 16th United States President’s boyhood years.
She told them about the time he nearly drowned in Knob Creek, about going to “Blab School” and about rafting down to New Orleans where he saw his first play and a slave market. “Behind every man is the boy he used to be,” said Carson.
Beauchamp said the program is designed to show the students how Lincoln’s early experiences shaped him into the great man he eventually became. Also, Carson’s presentation mentioned that Lincoln spent 14 years of his life living in Indiana, which also helped mold him.
The EOP reaches 40,000 students each year. And all of the curriculum meets state requirements. Carson, in fact, is a retired elementary educator from Battle Ground. This is her first year with EOP, and she’s already visited 19 schools in 8 counties.
The next EOP event is Candie Cooper. That will be presented to the third and fourth graders on March 11.