July 17, 2018
Photo: Samantha Sintros and her third grade class at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School have received an award from the Historical Society of Cheshire County for creating an audio walking tour of historic sites in downtown Keene.
Keene, NH The Historical Society of Cheshire County has awarded its 2018 Communicating the Past Award to Ms. Samantha Sintros and her third grade class at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School for creating a walking tour of historic sites in downtown Keene that can be shared with the public. The tour is called “A Walk through Keene’s History” and it can be accessed with a smartphone using an app called VoiceMap. The tour is like a podcast that uses gps technology to move with you to automatically tell stories about what you are seeing right now. The tour is narrated by the voices of the third-grade students of Franklin School.
Samantha Sintros feels that the project helped the students get enthused about Keene History. “I think that you get grounded to a place when you learn about its history,” said Sintros. “If you want to be part of your community and make it better, you need to know where you came from.”
The tour starts at Franklin School and guides the walker past the graves of settlers, the Jailer’s House, the old fire station, the courthouse, the original railroad station, and the Sentinel building. The tour includes the Horatio Colony House Museum and the Wyman Tavern Museum, which the students visited during the year to learn about Keene history.
To access the Keene walking tour, smartphone users can download the VoiceMap app from their app store and sign up for an account, or log in from their Facebook account. Then go to Explore and tap Keene, and they will see the “A Walk through History” Tour. There is a price to take the tour.
Sintros acknowledges several local resources who helped make the project a success. Another teacher from Franklin School, Gail Woolrich, wrote the script. Paul Bocko, from the faculty of Antioch New England, was a mentor. And Jennie Friedman, a graduate student helped with the project.
The Historical Society of Cheshire County is located at 246 Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire. The organization has been collecting, preserving, and communicating the history of Cheshire County for 91 years. The Society puts on about 150 programs each year to help people of all ages “find their place in history.” For more information, visit hsccnh.org or call 603.352.1895.