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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:00 pm

Tractor trailer filled with artifacts goes to Cove school

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - Regions of the Middle East, East Africa and West Asia came alive Wednesday for Copperas Cove Junior High School students.

A tractor trailer full of memorabilia and artifacts collected by Retired Gen. Tommy Franks, a former Commander of United States Central Command, was pulled curbside at the school for sixth-graders to explore.

"We go around to schools in Texas and Oklahoma to teach students about culture and the history of East Africa, the Middle East and West Asia," said Celia Brickell, with the Tommy Franks Museum Road Show. "It gives the children insight into the other parts of the world."

Brickell said the traveling museum helps children realize there is a difference in the life they have and what those in other countries have.

Stephen Shepler, also with the road show, explained to students wandering through the museum how people in Africa use a wooden pillow to elevate their heads off the ground so bugs don't crawl into their ears and noses.

For Anaiya Deshong, 10, the museum was an interesting experience. She enjoyed looking at the swords and a dowry chest given to the groom from his wife's family that typically contains money and other valuables.

"In the classroom you just see the pictures and read," said Deshong. "Here you actually see the visuals of what it looks like and learn and hear about it."

Giving the students a chance to see items from around the world is the reason the school invited the road show, said Gene Turner, a world history and culture studies teacher.

"This is a break from the normal classroom routine," he said. "It allows them to come at it from a fresh angle."

The road show allows students to get close to the material they are studying, said Randy Troub, the school's principal.

"It makes them ask more questions and links what they are learning to real life," said Turner. "It incites their curiosity and that is probably the best thing in the world, because then they go and learn on their own."

The road show hosted more than 270 sixth-grade students during its two-day visit. It was the second year the museum has come to Copperas Cove Junior High School.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.

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