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Charter Oak Will Celebrate its Long History in West Hartford this Saturday

Charter Oak International Academy will hold an open house to share memories of the old building. Courtesy photo

Charter Oak International Academy will hold an open house – Celebrate Charter Oak – to share memories of the old building as the school prepares to move to its new home.

Charter Oak International Academy will hold an open house to share memories of the old building. Courtesy photo

Charter Oak International Academy will hold an open house to share memories of the old building. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

Former students and members of the community will have a chance to share memories and reminisce about their experiences at Charter Oak while touring their old favorite spots before the school moves to the new building over the summer.

“The purpose of the open house is to give people who have a connection to Charter Oak – including former students and staff members – an opportunity to visit the school as we approach the final months in the building. We wanted to open it up to the public so that we could all celebrate Charter Oak,” Curriculum Specialist Kirsten Sanderson said.

There will be tours of the old building, and a chance to see a display of memorabilia lovingly collected over the years by teacher Janet Fournier. “We have things that go way back to the beginning of the school,” Sanderson said. If anyone has items to add to the collection, they will be welcomed. Anyone who has something to share but wants to keep can have the item photographed and digitally archived.

Visitors will be able to tour classrooms, including the school’s unique kindergarten classroom with a fireplace and the linoleum artwork floors.

Sanderson said that there will also be a digital recording studio set up so that people’s memories of Charter Oak can be recorded. There will also be block-printed “leaves” available for people to share their memories in writing. “Those will be carried forward in the fall to the new school so that we’re carrying the memories forward,” said Sanderson.

Orders will also be taken for those who would like to own a brick from the old school. Sanderson said bricks will be set aside when the building is dismantled and commemorative plaques will be attached for anyone who would like to have a permanent artifact from the building.

Vintage t-shirts will also be available for purchase, and light refreshments will be served.

Celebrate Charter Oak will be held on Saturday, April 30, from 1 – 4 p.m. The event is open to the public and there is no need to RSVP.

“We’re excited to see the connections made over time – to see the evolution of the school and the connections to what the vision was for a school in 1930. The new school is part of a journey and the goal is to carry forth the tradition and values that have been in this school for many years,” said Sanderson.

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