50th anniversary of Allenstown Elementary School building marked
Allenstown Elementary School educational assistant Dawn Labrecque gives students a history lesson on their school for its 50th birthday. (Brendan Clogston/Union Leader Correspondent)
ALLENSTOWN - Students, teachers, family and alumni gathered in the Allenstown Elementary School gym Friday morning to celebrate the building's 50th birthday.
An assembly at 8:30 started the day as students got a lesson in the history of their school and town by Educational Assistant Dawn Labrecque, who helped to plan the event, taking them through the early 19th century, when students studied in one-room schoolhouses, up through the present.
Labrecque also present a slide show with pictures of students and teachers through the school's history.
"I think that the kids didn't really understand the concept of 50 years until today when they were able to see pictures of some of the teachers they have, see some of that history," said Principal Lynn Allen. "It's a real credit to the town and its educators that you can look back and recognize so many faces and they're still here. They stuck around, they stuck it out."
Throughout the day, all of the students received a happy birthday cupcake or Rice Krispie treat. In the gym, there was a cake present as well.
Artifacts from the Historical Society, such as decades old uniforms and photographs of Allenstown schoolchildren dating as far back as the mid-19th century, were also on display in the gym at stations. Every elementary class was taken through the exhibits for half-an-hour at some point during the school day, as were middle-school students from Armand R. Dupont School.
Two members of the historical society were present to walk them through the stations and explain the significance of the artifacts.
Allenstown Elementary's current building opened in 1962, at the time without its second floor, library or gym, to replace the previous brick schoolhouse that had been outgrown, now the town hall. The second floor was built in 1972 to accommodate population growth in the town. There were 91 students and 5 teachers when the school was first built. Today, there are 276 students and 20 teachers.
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