Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County is launching a pilot program for the younger generation called Jr. Heritage Foundation. The Jr. Heritage Foundation will focus on preservation, education, and volunteerism, is designed for young preservationists from 6th grade to 12th grade.

It will be a program which is a membership-based program within the Heritage Classroom initiative. Initially, the Jr. Heritage Foundation program will be implemented at Battle Ground Academy Middle and Upper Schools, with the hopes of expanding the program to all of Williamson County in 2020.

Inspired while vacationing in Historic Williamsburg several years ago, John Denton, an 8th-grade student at BGA, approached Heritage Foundation CEO Bari Beasley last fall to discuss the prospects of starting the Jr. Heritage Foundation. Together, they have worked with the Foundation’s staff, BGA faculty and a small group of students from BGA to get the pilot program formed and off the ground.

“It has been really great to see the Jr. Heritage Foundation actually come to life,” said Denton in a release. “Knowing that securing our past is securing our future, I am excited for kids to get involved with the history lessons and tours, community service and other fun activities we have been planning for 2019.”

As a member of the group, students will have the opportunity to take part in members-only, educational field trips to places of historical significance within the county, as well as behind-the-scenes tours and exclusive volunteer opportunities to help meet any required volunteer hours.

“We talk a lot at the Heritage Foundation about the unique sense of place that we feel in Williamson County, and that is due in large part to intentional historic preservation efforts,” said Jaryn Abdallah, Heritage Classroom Educator. “I’m excited for yet another generation to experience this sense of place and get involved in the efforts to preserve it.”

Abdallah recently joined the Foundation in early January and will lead the Jr. Heritage Foundation program as well as the organization’s 30-year-old Heritage Classroom program. She has over six years of experience in historical education. Having worked at the President James K. Polk Home & Museum as the Director of Polk Academy, she worked on educational initiatives, including summer camps and outreach to local schools and homeschool communities.

Founding advisory board members of the Jr. Heritage Foundation are President John Denton (8th grade), Vice President Duncan Knopf (9th grade), Treasurer Jackson Rowley (8th grade) and Secretary Evey Knopf (6th grade). The advisory board will meet quarterly.

For more information about the Jr. Heritage Foundation program, email jaballah@williamsonheritage.org. Teachers interested in the Heritage Classroom program can also email Abdallah. To find out more about the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, visit WilliamsonHeritage.org.