June 21, 2005
This summer kids are getting the change to get to know Thomas Jefferson up-close and personal. Monticello is teaching kids who this Founding Father really was.
He was not just president. And he was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence.
He was also a grandfather and an inventor, and kids are learning more about good ol' Thomas Jefferson at Monticello than any textbook could teach them.
All summer long, the founding father's house is offering tours for kids, ages six to eleven, and their families. The tours are thirty minutes long, offered six times daily until August 15, and geared for the children, rather than the parents.
"We have things they can touch, we have props, so they can learn stuff about Thomas Jefferson. He was a granddad," said Gary Sandling, Director of Interpretation at Monticello.
Kids didn't get the standard tourof the house. Instead, they got to touch maps, animal skins and their favorite, "the fossil." And out of all the rooms in the house, one really got their attention.
"We got to see his bed," said Trey Houk. When asked if he saw anything else, he shook his head.
Josh Schubert also cited the bed as his favorite part, especially the color of the comforter.
Trey's Mom, Suzanne, brought her son all the way from Pittsburgh to see what she called a "main attraction." She said she even learned something.
"I learned that Thomas Jefferson loved books, loved gardening, and loved being a patriot," said Houk.
Although the kids weren't exactly able to say who Thomas Jefferson was, they were able to say that they had a good time.