DANSVILLE — The Dansville Area Historical Society had a special guest at their regular monthly meeting.
Dansville Yorker History Club Advisor Jan Pirrello took over for Don Ptak about a year ago. Alyssa LaRocca helps out a lot with the club.
Pirrello had an idea to offer reduced price membership to Dansville Area Historical Society for students.
“I want to get the students more involved. I want to get them more active in the community,” she said. “Most of my students are in middle school, but I have a few high school students. This would give them a great opportunity to get interested in more community history.”
Pirrello said a lot of the students don’t even know the museum exists.
“I want to get some enthusiasm with the students,” she said. “I want people to know Dansville is a great place, and they have a museum. We are at 75 percent reduced lunches in the district, so we are a high poverty area. That is why I am asking they get reduced price membership.”
Pirrello said it is hard to get the students interested in their own history.
“We are doing a lot more Dansville history now,” she said. “We want to make these students aware of the historical importance of Dansville.”
It is hard to get older students involved since they have drama, band, sports, and other things after school.
“I want to rekindle the love for local history,” Pirrello said. “My partner Alyssa and I volunteered to take over the club after Don left. We knew that the club would’ve died if we didn’t take it over. I am a history major, so I did not want to see that happen.”
Pirrello grew up in Nunda and is an active member of the Nunda Historical Society with Tom Cook.
“My vision for the club was to bring it back to a time when it was alive,” she said. “We want more programs and community involvement. We want more than sports, music, and creative arts.”
Right now the students in the history club are learning about the history of transportation in the area. They are working on planes, trains, wagons, boats, canals, hot air balloons and old roads.
Some joined the club for the field trips, but those who are serious about history stayed even when the school couldn’t afford the trips.
“History is very dry to some people. Young people don’t understand roots,” Pirrello said. “They are all about themselves right now. They don’t understand the concept of home, and being proud of where they come from.”
The Dansville Yorker History Club will have a trip to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Family Museum and will present their projects and programs to the Dansville Area Historical Society sometime in June.