Western Wayne elementary and middle school students were treated to an educational and extremely entertaining presentation about and “given by” Benjamin Franklin himself on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Elementary students at R.D. Wilson were treated to the presentation in the morning while students in the middle school enjoyed it in the afternoon in the newly renovated and recently dedicated Western Wayne Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The Wayne County Community Foundation made this presentation possible through a grant.
The Foundation has many programs and seeks proposals from organizations to secure grants that are meant to support efforts to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Wayne County. A variety of programs received almost $ 40,000 from the foundation grants that were awarded in the last fiscal year.
In 1997 the Estate of Benjamin Franklin awarded $ 20,000 to the Wayne County Community Foundation. The amazing vision of Mr. Franklin in realizing community organizations would exist more than 200 years after his passing, exhibits the man’s extraordinary vision.
The members of the Wayne County Community Foundation were glad students in Western Wayne’s R. D. Wilson Elementary School and the Western Wayne Middle School could experience a presentation about the life and accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin performed by professional actor Brian Patrick Mulligan.
Mulligan has been performing as Benjamin Franklin for over 25 years and his vast experience has proven to be an inspiration to all who have had the opportunity to witness his presentations. He has an extensive repertoire of events and many characters that he portrays.
Mulligan entertained and educated the students dressed in a period appropriate costume. The program was very interactive with Mulligan discussing many historical facts from Franklin’s life. A number of students had the opportunity to act out scenes to help the group learn about this rich history. There was a scene about the functioning of the printing press and another about kite flying among others.
The Western Wayne School District is very grateful to The Wayne County Community Foundation for providing their students with this educational opportunity. The Foundation also provided this same program to students from the Wayne Highlands School District, Forest City Regional School District, Wallenpaupack School District, and Canaan Christian Academy.
From left: Mr. Josh Rowe, middle school teacher; Benjamin Franklin played by Mulligan; and Josh Mahnke, 8th grade, who got to play a role in one of the skits from the presentation