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New Hanover County students get an education in the history of downtown Wilmington

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New Hanover County students spent Tuesday learning that there is more to the Wilmington Fire Department than shiny red fire trucks. Third graders from Eaton Elementary got a history lesson, which included a brief presentation of how fighting fire has evolved since the 1800’s. This was their first stop along their tour of downtown through a program called, Tar Heels Go Walking. The Historic Wilmington Foundation partnered with New Hanover County Schools this year, to help promote heritage preservation during the tour. “You have to train people for the future and investing in our children is one way to train future citizens to be good protectors and appreciators of historic building and our heritage,” said George Edwards of the Historic Wilmington Foundation. Unlike walks in years past, there are now volunteer tour guides to help educate the students. “This has been an awesome partnership. We're very excited, the teachers are excited and I think students are going to be excited,” said foreign language lead instructor Travis Matthews. “We've got more resources; this trip has definitely been enhanced.” As they make their way to places like the historic New Hanover County Courthouse and Thalian Hall, the students will also learn about the unique architecture and diverse history of downtown. “We're also going to point out things that are gone or that have changed so they can understand that downtown is dynamic changes constantly,” Edwards said.. Every New Hanover County third grader will get the chance to go on the tour. The schools are busing students downtown two classrooms at a time. Organizers expect the tours to wrap up in December.

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