A New Journey
“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
Mark Twain loved trains! He crisscrossed the United States on trains and used them to traverse the European continent. Trains offered him time for contemplation, conversation, and a more-than-occasional cigar. And, they provided scenery far different from his Connecticut home – vistas full of adventure, intrigue, and, of course, stories.
It’s certain Mr. Twain would have loved the Northern Central Railway. A journey back in time, an excursion through picturesque countryside, a ride-along historic tracks, and an atmosphere of steam and smoke may well have inspired Mr. Twain to write, “Do the right thing: ride a train. It will gratify old people and educate the kids.”
A rail trip on the Northern Central Railway is, definitely, a timeless sojourn into another era and another way of life. But, equally important, it is an adventure of the mind…especially for children. Kids will see things seldom replicated in history books or portrayed in science texts, they will gain information that will engage their minds and stimulate their curiosity, and they will experience a wonder that can power their schooling for years to come.
Now, NCR is inaugurating a dynamic new educational program designed to offer youngsters a range of exciting activities and hands-on projects aligned with current science and social studies standards. Kids will be able to participate in experiments both on the train as well as at home. They will have unique opportunities to ask questions and make discoveries (inquiry-based learning) that will support their classroom lessons in magical ways. And, they will learn about nature, history, technology, science, math, art, and engineering through coordinated projects filled with creativity and overflowing with learning.
These specially designed adventures are for the whole family – a way to actively participate in stimulating discussions, creative thinking opportunities, and rich learning opportunities. It’s a classroom on rails! Here are a few of the planned activities:
- Periodic activity sheets for families to share on the train and at home
- A new children’s book written especially for kids on the Northern Central Railway
- A series of NCR YouTube videos with selected educational activities and experiments
- Special storytelling programs with a local children’s author
- A train-oriented summer camp experience
- A special NCR Kid’s Club (t-shirts, badges) and a Family membership program (free tickets, special programs)
- Special hands-on displays at the NCR station
- On-train activities, experiments, projects, and discoveries for the whole family
Mark Twain once said, “”It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others – and less trouble.” It is certain Mr. Twain would have advocated a journey on the NCR with all its learning opportunities for kids. And, so, we invite you to join us for this new adventure on the rails…and keep your eyes open. You never know whom you might meet…or what you might learn!
Anthony D. Fredericks (www.anthonydfredericks.com) is Professor Emeritus of Education at York College of PA and the new Education Coordinator for NCR. In addition, he is an award-winning and best-selling children’s author of more than 50 children’s books including Tall Tall Tree (https://amzn.to/3i8Gi0U ) and Mountain Night, Mountain Day (https://amzn.to/3i5I0Aj).