Signs Reinstalled: Albion students continue preserving history

Nick Prest working to restore the West Barre sign.

Nick Prest working to restore the West Barre sign.

With field trips still on hold, Service Learning teacher Tim Archer and his students continue to restore historic signs from around the area. 

This time, eighth-graders Nick Prest and Isaiah Riley helped Archer and Middle School Art Teacher Kamie Feder repaint an old historic road sign from the Town of Barre. 

According to Archer, projects like this are normally completed in seventh grade Service Learning classes.

“Periodically my 7th grade Service Learning classes restore local historic markers or historic road signs,” Archer explained. “This is the second ‘West Barre’ area sign we've done.”

Archer works with town officials to get approval and then has the highway superintendent take down the sign for restoration. Once completed, the sign will go back up on West Barre Road near the West Barre United Methodist Church.

“These are civic-minded projects that help students appreciate their community's past history and to participate in maintaining our heritage,” Archer explained. “The students enjoy the hands-on aspect of learning.”

Archer asked Middle School Art Teacher Kamie Feder to include her eighth-grade art class, which includes Prest and Riley, to help with this second West Barre sign as part of an “interdisciplinary partnership.”

Seventh-grader Renzo Tomasi and Town of Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan“Since it involved painting, and her room was more conducive to doing it, I asked Kamie if she would take some of her regular art class time to paint the sign,” Archer said. “She was kind enough to accept. Nick and Isaiah are in a small class with her and I had both Nick and Isaiah in class last year. This is an extension of the service-learning instruction that they were part of previously.”

Additionally, the three signs from the Town of Gaines that seventh-graders Brynn Dugan and Renzo Tomasi were working to restore this past September are finished and reinstalled roadside. 

Since September, Town of Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan has been working on the fine lettering work on the signs. 

The Union Cemetery sign is located near Watts Farm Market on Route 98. The other two signs, marking the First Academy and First Church, can be found on Ridge Road West.

As for the West Barre sign, it should be back up later this year.