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On Saturday, December 20, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Lee Center complex, at 1108 Jefferson St., will be closed due to building system upgrades.

City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
The Lyceum Alexandria's History Museum
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Page updated Jan 13, 2011 3:20 PM

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Lyceum 2009 Summer Camp
Clio’s Kids: A History Mini-Camp Alexandria: Then & Now... Learn More About It

Day 1: Looking at Letters

Summer Camp 2009 Day 1 image

Read More About It!: Books to Read

Books to Read Aloud Together

  • Tunnell, Michael O. and Ted Rand. Mailing May. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1997.
    Set in 1914, May wants to see her grandmother who lives across the mountains, but her family cannot afford a train ticket. May is instead mailed as a baby chick and rides in the train’s mail car to see her grandmother. This charming picture book is based on a true story, which is shared in an author’s note at the end of the book. Mailing May is in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County libraries.
  • Gibbons, Gail. The Post Office Book: Mail and How it Moves. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1982.
    Gibbons uses her detailed red, white, and blue illustrations and simple text to show how mail moved in the past and gives an overview of how mail moves today. This book is available in Alexandria and Arlington libraries.
  • Flanagan, Alice and Christine Osinski. Here Comes Mr. Eventoff with the Mail. New York: Children’s Press, 1998.
    Flanagan’s easy-to-read text and Osinski’s photographs illustrate U.S. letter carrier Mr. Eventoff’s daily routine. From sorting his route’s mail at the local post office to letter delivery, readers get a behind-the-scenes view of a letter carrier’s day. You can find it in Arlington and Alexandria libraries. Paulette Bourgeois’s Postal Workers in My Neighborhood, available in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax libraries, provides an illustrated alternative to the Flanagan and Gibbons books, covering mail and postal workers in modern times.

Let’s Do It!: Kids Activities on the Web 

Let’s See It!: Places to Visit to Learn More 

  • National Postal Museum, Washinton, D.C. 
    Permanent exhibits at this Smithsonian museum relate the history of the U.S. mail, including the important role of transportation in moving the mail. If you enjoyed the book Mailing May, don’t miss the chance to see the inside of the railroad mail car in the central exhibition space.

Day 2: Firefighting: Then and Now

Summer Camp 2009 Day 2 image

Read More About It!: Books to Read 

Books to Read Aloud Together 

  • Barbaresi, Nina.  Firefighters Coloring Book.  Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2003.
    The storyline of this coloring book follows Mike the firefighter throughout his day at Engine Company 39.  An introduction to the working day of the firefighter with the bonus that children can color along!  Look for it in The Lyceum’s Museum Shop, or in local bookstores.
  • Brooks, Felicity, illustrated by Jo Litchfield.  Fred the Firefighter.  Tulsa, OK: EDC Publishing, 2004.
    This book follows Fred, a firefighter, throughout his workday.  Descriptions of uniform components, actions, and a glossary and fire safety tips at the end provide excellent information for curious readers.  Fred the Firefighter is in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax libraries.
  • Osborne, Mary Pope and Steve Johnson.  New York's Bravest.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
    Standing eight feet tall, with enough strength to lift a trolley, Mose the firefighter helps put out fires all over bustling 1840s New York City.  Gorgeous illustrations and simple text are used to relate this story in the tradition of Paul Bunyon.  Osbourne drew upon fictionalized stories of real-life firefighter Mose Humphreys to create her story of this urban folk hero.  The book is available in Alexandria and Fairfax libraries.

Let’s Do It!: Kids Activities on the Web 

  • U.S. Fire Administration's Kids' Page
    Cartoon characters Marty and Jett introduce children to fire safety on the U.S. Fire Administration’s kids website.  Children learn about home fire safety, smoke alarms, and escaping from fire, then apply their knowledge by completing interactive quizzes and games.

Let’s See It!: Places to Visit to Learn More

  • Friendship Firehouse Museum, Alexandria, VA
    The Friendship Fire Company, established in 1774, was the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria.  The current firehouse was built in 1855.  The Engine Room on the first floor houses hand-drawn fire engines and historic fire-fighting equipment.  The second floor Meeting Room contains ceremonial objects such as parade uniforms, capes, banners and other regalia.
  • Fire Museum of Maryland, Lutherville MD
    Located north of Baltimore just off of I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway), the Fire Museum of Maryland displays fire apparatus from the early nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, and holds regular special events for children and families.

Day 3: 100th Anniversary of Orville Wright's Flight From Fort Myer to Alexandria!

Summer Camp 2009 Day 3 image

Read More About It!: Books to Read

Books To Read Aloud Together

  • Baines, Francesca.  Planes.  Worldwise, 3. New York: Franklin Watts, 1995.
    Detailed, colorful illustrations and text introduce children to historical and modern airplanes of many shapes, sizes, speeds, and capacities.  Cutaway and flip illustrations allow children to see interiors of planes and a busy airport.  A glossary at the end defines challenging words.  You can find it in the Fairfax library.
  • Gaffney, Timothy R., and Bernadette Pons.  Wee and the Wright Brothers.  New York: Henry Holt, 2004.
    Wee is a journalist mouse whose family lives in the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop.  Wee’s family publishes a newspaper for mice.  When the Wright brothers’ pack their flyer in a crate and take it to Kitty Hawk, NC, Wee travels along, sure to get a great story for his newspaper.  You’ll have to read the book to discover Wee’s adventures in Kitty Hawk.  It is available in the Fairfax library.
  • Hodgkins, Fran, and True Kelley.  How People Learned to Fly.  Let's-read-and-find-out science.  New York: HarperCollins, 2007.
    A excellent starting point for younger elementary school students interested in how flight happens, touching on the history and science of flight.  Colorful illustrations introduce children to concepts like gravity, drag, lift, and thrust.  “Flying Facts” and an experiment, “Flight School”, are at the end of book.  You can find it in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax libraries.

More Advanced Readers 

  • Freedman, Russell, Wright, Wilbur, and Wright, Orville.  The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane.  Paw Prints, 2008.
    While the text of this biography is suitable for older children, campers and parents alike will be fascinated by Freedman’s collection of photographs of the Wright brothers and their experiments, from their childhood to the early 1910s.  Families will find good suggestions in “Places to Visit” at the end of the book.  You can find it in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County libraries.
  • Hill, Lee Sullivan, and Craig Orback.  The Flyer Flew!: The Invention of the Airplane.  On my own science.  Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2006. 
    This book provides advanced readers a good introduction both to the Wright brothers and the science of flight.  The glossary defines potentially unfamiliar words introduced to readers in the story, like “data”, “pitch”, and “yaw”, while the afterward introduces the scientific method.  The Flyer Flew! is in the Alexandria library.
  • Old, Wendie C., and Robert Andrew Parker.  To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers.  New York: Clarion Books, 2002.
    This illustrated biography of Orville and Wilbur Wright, in chapter format, is an excellent book for older campers to read with parents.  Indexed, this book includes a timeline, suggestions for further reading, and notes.  It is available in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County libraries.
  • Simon, Seymour, and Byron Barton.  The Paper Airplane Book.  New York: Viking Press, 1971.
    This book uses experiments to demonstrate flight concepts (lift, thrust, drag, etc.) and step-by-step instructions for making paper airplanes and experiments to help older children understand the science of flight.  You can find it in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County libraries.

Let’s See It!: Places to Visit to Learn More 

  • College Park Aviation Museum
    This museum is located at the College Park airport, which was founded in 1909 when the Wright brothers started to train military aviators.  The museum has many exhibits which engage young visitors, including a hands-on room, simulators, and pedal planes.  Family-friendly programs and events are offered throughout the year, including “Afternoon Aviators”, a weekly series of aviation-themed activities for children aged five and older on Friday afternoons.
    “The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age”, Gallery 209, National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
    Learn about Orville and Wilbur Wright’s work to invent the airplane and the immediate impact of their invention on the world during the following decade.  The 1903 Wright Flyer is temporarily displayed at floor-level, allowing visitors closer access than in its usual location, when the flyer is displayed near the ceiling in the Milestones of Flight exhibit.  Print the Discovery Guide “On the Wright brothers’ Flight Path” before your visit, and use the guide to compare the Wright brothers’ three airplanes that are on display. 

The Lyceum:
Alexandria's History Museum
201 S. Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Fax: 703.838.4997

Museum Hours
Monday - Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m.
.Admission - $2.00

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
by appointment only