CARTHAGE, Mo. — George Washington Carver and Clara Barton were just a couple of the famous faces local students saw outside of the classroom today.

More than 400 Carthage 5th graders spent the day in Central Park for “Great Americans Day.”

Actors dressed up in period costumes and told the kids about their lives. The annual project started nearly 20-years ago, but had to take a break the last couple of years due to the pandemic.

“It just brings history to life. And it truly allows the children to understand that there’s so much more than their tablets and their computers. And it allows the children to have a connection with these great American heroes,” said Bonnie Schaeffer, Great American Day Comm.

“And we want our kids to see that our great Americans were not just famous because they made a lot of money or they’re in front of a screen somewhere. But they were truly great men and women of great sacrifice and courage and action,” added Debbie Herbst, Great American Day Comm.

The event featured 9 historical figures, and three more stops where students learned the “Virginia Reel” — it’s a barn dance — and crafted frames for historic photos.