Students in Washington Middle School’s After School Program and their parents enjoyed Allegany Museum’s The Way We Worked local exhibition, and stories about Kelly Springfield and Lefty Grove as part of M-SAFE Parent’s Night Program on March 30th.
Allegany Museum displayed panels that tell the story of workers in Allegany County 1877- 2017 through the Railroad, the Celanese Corp. and local labor unions and the Cumberland Labor Day parades along with historic artifacts from the businesses.
Ms. Meagan McElfish, the coordinator of the M-SAFE program, introduced the noted speakers, Lee Fiedler, former President of Kelly Tire and mayor of Cumberland, and Bucky Shriver, local historian and chairman of the Lefty Grove Memorial Fund.
Mr. Fiedler’s talk focused on the changes in jobs from past to present and how fast-paced changes in technology are going to change the way jobs are done even more quickly in the future. He encouraged the students to be willing to adjust to the changes.
Mr. Shriver brought along the maquette of the statue of Lefty Grove that will soon be erected in Lonaconing. He told stories about Lefty Grove’s career, and said “It’s exciting to think a kid from fifteen miles down the road succeeded the way he did. He had an uncommon desire to win and that’s what it takes. This is to help you think about where they were, where you are, and where you think you want to be in the future.”
To enhance the academic opportunities, Allegany College student interns prepared lesson plans and had displays about a variety of local business from the past, including those highlighted by the Museum. The students could see and touch the various items and ask questions.
Mrs. Shawnee McElfish, the school’s guidance counselor and supporter of the program, felt that this was an opportunity for the students to “re-tool their way of thinking”. A parent commented that it was wonderful for the students to have the opportunity to see and learn about people who have lived in and done so much in our communities.