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体育在线365Once upon a time, Leon County Schools had an enrichment program for gifted students, not only at some schools but also at the Academic Resource Center, or ARC. Every gifted student in the county had the opportunity to travel on a school bus once a week to this magical place.

On Sunday, many of these student will return as adults to help unearth a time capsule planted there on Jan. 13, 2000. The Time Capsule Unearthing and ARC Reunion will be at 2 p.m. at the former ARC building on Appleyard Drive. 

Initially, the program was housed in the Hartsfield and Bond schools and then on the FAMU campus as “College for Kids.” In 1991, ARC moved into its own state-of-the-art facility on Appleyard Drive with computers, robots, musical instruments, a chemistry lab, sewing machines, gardens, an art studio, photography darkroom, and even live owls, hawks and reptiles.

Field trips to natural areas and mentorships at the Mag Lab, museums, and medical facilities were also part of the experience.

Where are the ARC kids today?

They are college professors, surgeons, environmental attorneys, musicians, urban planners, artists, authors, scientists, olive oil producers, naturalists, and more! They all fondly remember time spent in this exceptional Leon County Schools program, and some even credit these experiences for their life choices.

体育在线365The subtle time shift we all experienced last week as we entered this new decade was a big deal. But if you are old enough to look back 20 years to the beginning of the new century, that was a really big deal.

Twenty years ago, my middle school environmental science students at ARC were considering some of the mind-boggling changes taking place in our own backyard.

They experienced the “Super Bowl of Geology” by peering into the Porter Hole Sinkhole on Lake Jackson’s dry lake bed, slogged through wetlands and hiked through forests to feel the fragile interconnectedness of all life, sailed up the Apalachicola on the Governor Stone to learn about its floodplain and bay, and camped at St. George Island to study our changing coastline.

Donna Legare, recently retired co-owner of Native Nurseries (whose two children attended ARC), helped students plant 12 trees on the ARC campus — sugar maples, winged elms, swamp chestnuts, magnolias, hickories and sabal palms.

“Planting trees is the best hands-on activity I can think of that really brings home the idea to these students that they can positively impact our environment,” Legare said.

Students also created a time capsule filled with their Y2K reflections as drawings, photos, and other artifacts as well as letters written by the students, their friends and teachers with their carefully considered predictions for the future, addressed to their future selves.

When they buried their time capsule on Jan. 13, 2000, students decided to meet in 20 years as “30-somethings” to unearth their time capsule, sit beneath the beautiful trees they planted, and see how close their predictions for 2020 have come.

Sandy Beck is the education director for St. Francis Wildlife. Contact her at stfranciswildlife@comcast.net .

If you go

What: Time Capsule Unearthing and ARC Reunion. If you were an ARC student, teacher, or school board member (past or present) or are the parent, sibling, partner, child or whatever of an ARC student, you are invited.

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12

Where: The former ARC building, now ACE (Adult & Community Education), 526 Appleyard Drive, Tallahassee. The party will continue at 4 p.m. at the Proof Brewing Company, 1320 S Monroe St.

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