About History Club
In Autumn of 2015, the Middle School's first "History Club" was created. History Club met every week before school on Thursday mornings. The group was created to better organize some of the extra-curricular events centered around social studies. Some of these activities were Heritage Day, the Geography Bee, Essay Competitions, and collaborating closely with the Windsor Locks Historical Society. The idea of Windsor Locks Heritage Day was born by two separate events. The first took place in the spring of 2015. For the first time, the WLMS Social Studies Department had students conduct projects on local history of Windsor Locks. Teachers quickly determined that students were very engaged and excited about learning the rich history of their town. That May, teachers and students gathered at the Windsor Locks Town Library to display their projects and meet with local historians of Windsor Locks. The event was a smash and propelled the level of historical engagement into new waters. In Autumn of 2016 the Windsor Locks History Club was invited to attend the Meeting on Main. These meetings were designed to plan how we could revitalize downtown Windsor Locks and connect local town officials, business leaders, and schools. One of the first presentations was the idea to create a Town Green in the sports fields behind the Middle School. The History Club jumped on this idea and decided to expand the Heritage Night showcase to a full day event at the Town Green. There were many obstacles the group would overcome, but when it came down to it, the students voted to pursue a Heritage Day event to bring together the community. In a true grassroots effort the first Heritage Day took place in May of 2016. Led by Colin O’Brien the first Heritage Day was a huge success. The fact that the day was run completely by students made it even more special. The group committed to running heritage day each year and trying to make it better.
After each successful Heritage Day in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Heritage Day is now entering into its fifth year. Heritage Day means a lot to the History Club, but nothing is more important than raising funds and awareness to renovate the Historic Train Station of Windsor Locks. Each year, the History Club strives to donate as much money as they can to the train station. In the first year, the group donated $750 dollars to the renovation of the train station, the second year $2,500, the third year we donated $3,500 and last year we donated $4,000 to the train station. The group passed the $10,000 donation threshold last year. The money we have donated has gone to repair the roof, bricks and the chimneys of the Historic Train Station. Now that Heritage day has grown, the group has been recognized by the Town of Windsor Locks, The Windsor Locks Historical Society, and the State of CT as a Red, White, and Blue School Winner. They have received local media coverage from the Windsor Locks Journal, the Hartford Courant, and the Journal Inquirer. They even got a visit from the Lieutenant Governor, Susan Bysiewicz in 2019, who came to view their Ella Grasso exhibit and learn more about the day! Heritage Day has grown and now it features the top 20 history projects with an awards ceremony for the top 3 projects from each grade,local foods, vendors, and entertainment. The Heritage Day Exhibit is something the group has become very proud of, as each year the depth and creativity of these projects improves. We are so happy that Heritage Day has grown into a great family day that connects the community to our school. The History Club hopes for its best Heritage Day in 2020!