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Grants available to take students to county museum

Published: Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 11:31 p.m. CDT

UNION – Thanks to the Community Foundation of McHenry County, the McHenry County Historical Society will be able to offer $200 grants to defray transportation expenses to the museum.

The society previously received a $2,500 grant from the Minno and Carol Halma Family Fund within the McHenry County Community Foundation. This spring, it learned that an additional $5,000 was approved to defray the rising cost of fuel, maintenance and personnel.

Each public or private elementary school within the county is being offered $200 in an effort to encourage students to visit the museum in Union.

This program is designed for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. 

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the fall and spring, the museum offers two-hour programs in the one-room, West Harmony School. A more expansive, two-hour tour is available Thursdays and Fridays that includes the 1895 West Harmony School, the museum and an 1843 log cabin.

Available times are from 9 to 11 a.m., 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. to noon. Four weeks’ notice is preferred whenever possible.

To learn about the program, click on Educational Programs under the heading “Museum” on the society’s website at or call 815-923-2267.

The museum is able to accommodate up to four classrooms at once.

For groups larger than 90 students, two days are suggested.

The society must be notified by letter or email no later than Sept. 27 that a class or classes within the district will be booking a school tour and are applying for the grant. 

Museum tours and West Harmony programs are free to schools whose townships and/or municipalities join the society as governmental members.

Without a membership connection, there is a $3 charge per person to help defray related expenses.

Governmental members for 2013-2014 fiscal year include Crystal Lake, Huntley, Lakemoor, McHenry, Richmond, Ringwood, Spring Grove and Woodstock, as well as Alden, Algonquin, Burton, Coral, Dunham, Dorr, McHenry and Riley townships.

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