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Teachers turn to city’s historic cemeteries as outdoor classroom

Ruthie Caplinger, background middle in black sweatshirt, asks questions of students as she explains information on a headstone before them. She teaches in the Jefferson City Public School district’s EER class.

Ruthie Caplinger, background middle in black sweatshirt, asks questions of students as she explains information on a headstone before them. She teaches in the Jefferson City Public School district’s EER class. Photo by Julie Smith.

Nearly every place where teacher Ruth Caplinger rested her eyes in the Jefferson City National Cemetery on Thursday reminded her of something she’d like to teach her students.

Surrounded by the gravestones of fallen soldiers in the cool morning air, the students listened patiently as Caplinger shared her stories. “Not every town has a national cemetery,” she said. “This is a special place.”

This week, dozens of elementary students enrolled in the Jefferson City School District’s Explore-Enrich-Research (EER) program visited the cemetery, as part of ....

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