Osage City Elementary School fifth-graders enjoy timeless fun on the merry-go-round at Rapp School. The students in Jeff Whitmer’s class visited the one-room schoolhouse last week as a history lesson, and to be featured in a segment of Sunflower Journeys.
| Managing Editor
RAPP SCHOOL—For Jeff Whitmer’s fifth-grade class from Osage City Elementary School, it was a journey a few miles out in the country and back in time; for television producer Bill Shaffer, it was a long-planned journey of at least 15 years. And last week, their journeys led them to the same destination – Rapp School, one of Osage County’s remaining one-room schoolhouses.
Shaffer, a producer with the public television show Sunflower Journeys, arrived at the school to fulfill an idea that developed years ago, to feature the one-room schoolhouse in a segment on his show. As part of the production of that story, Whitmer’s students served as actors and subjects, and at the same time learned some of the history of Osage County.
The school, which has been restored to its original condition, is owned by Grant Township, and is operated by the Rapp School Preservation Association as a historical site. The school is a common destination for field trips that teach local students about the past, demonstrating the daily activities of a one-room schoolhouse.
While the OCES fifth-graders spent a half-day in class at the school May 9, Shaffer spent most of the day filming – first, the students being led in lessons by volunteers Ron and Pat Fredrickson, and then interviews of former students and a teacher of the school that closed in 1959.
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