These are some of the words Charles Dickens used to describe the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol."
On Dec. 18, the Fort Scott National Historic Site took part in a Holiday Storytelling Extravaganza. Regional educators read holiday-themed stories to classes in Kansas, Texas and New York, using distance learning technology.
FSNHS staff chose to read the story, "A Christmas Carol," written by Dickens in 1843. The story quickly became popular and might have been read at Fort Scott in the 1840s, a news release said.
The setting for the storytelling program was the sitting room on the first floor of the officers' quarters at Fort Scott. Volunteer Susan Anderson, dressed as an officer's wife, read an abridged version of "A Christmas Carol" to her younger sisters, Liberty and Jubilee Anderson, in two different sessions with classes from New York and Texas participating in each session.
A question-and-answer session about the story took place following the reading. Judging from the students' questions, they were engaged in the story, the release said.
This was Fort Scott's first foray into interpretation to classrooms using distance learning. During the last two years, the site has been acquiring equipment and now has the technology to do programs using Polycom equipment and web-based videoconferencing.
FSNHS staff has developed programs on the Civil War to be taught via distance learning and plans to launch them in 2013. Interested schools can contact the site's education coordinator, Barak Geertsen, at (620) 223-0310, or by email at email@example.com.