MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Marshalltown students had a rough start to the 2018 school year after a tornado ripped through town, but now they have two things to look forward to: seeing Hamilton in Minneapolis and Homecoming.
A grant through the Gilder Lehrman Institute and a little classroom work is giving 102 students the opportunity to see the musical Hamilton in Minneapolis on Thursday, Oct. 4.
“Overall they get an experience that they won’t necessarily do. Some of them have never left the state and some of them haven’t left the community very far so they get to experience this kind of thing. I can’t put into words how much their going to gain from this,” Social Studies and U.S. History Teacher Tim Johnson said.
Sophomore Student Emily Manis said she loved doing the project to be able to see the musical in person again.
“I’m really excited because before it was at the Civic Center, but now I’ll be with a bunch of my classmates and friends, so I think it’ll be a different experience,” Manis said.
Students and teachers said homecoming festivities have also uplifted the town even though they had to trade in the usual homecoming parade for a carnival.
“Seeing everybody come out and have fun and get candy and sing was really a good thing for our community,” Manis said.
Johnson said the students of Marshalltown are resilient.
“They stick together. We just had a pep rally and they were all over. It’s one of the best pep rallies I’ve been a part of for a long time. Kids were enthused and excited. The marching band got us going and things like that. So the resiliency of our community has been incredible,” Johnson said.
Manis said this year’s homecoming celebration is even more important than the last and everyone came together to make sure each student could be a part of it.
“I think a big part of it might have been the dress donation that the place up in Omaha did. I think everybody really understands we’ve gone through a rough time, so this is kind of a like a celebration of that. That we made it through together,” Manis said.
The Marshalltown homecoming game is Friday night against Sioux City West and the dance is on Saturday.