Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Traveling docent Paul Piraino
Traveling docent Paul Piraino

To obtain a print-quality JPEG of this photo, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (815) 753-1681 or e-mail

News Release

Contact: Paul Piraino, Blackwell History of Education Museum
(815) 753-1236

March 14, 2007

Blackwell Museum offers ‘traveling docent’
to share immigration stories to area schools

DeKalb — To acquaint young Americans with the experiences of DeKalb County immigrants, Northern Illinois University’s Blackwell History of Education Museum will provide a traveling docent to the area schools in the greater DeKalb area.

Docent Paul Piraino will give students an opportunity to see what immigrants brought with them, what and how the immigrants learned to live in the new nation, and some of their important contributions. A special feature will be their schooling opportunities in the Chicago area. The traveling docent promises to be informative and interesting to all who encounter him.

“Studying the history of the early immigrants helps DeKalb County students discover their own history, where their ancestors came from, and how life was experienced by their ancestors once they had settled in DeKalb County,” Piraino said.

“This knowledge provides them with a chance to see how different and similar life was long ago compared to today,” Piraino added. “Knowledge and understanding of their county’s history may help these young Americans develop greater appreciation for their ancestors and their heritage.”

The Blackwell History of Education Museum invites all students to continue learning about rural DeKalb by visiting the museum’s one-room schoolhouse.

Several hours in the schoolhouse will give visitors the opportunity to experience the daily life of early 1900s students. Docents dressed in costume will guide students in typical lessons studied by students in DeKalb county rural schools. There is no charge for visiting the one-room school.

For more information about the traveling docent or the country school, contact the museum at (815) 753-1236 or via e-mail at More information is also available online at

# # #