|Since North Schuylkill Elementary is located
in the Anthracite Coal Region, they celebrate Anthracite Heritage Week
every year. I learned that Anthracite Coal was formed millions of years
ago from the decaying plant matter that was placed under great pressure.
I learned that there are four kinds of coal—peat, lignite, bituminous,
and anthracite. Anthracite coal is the hardest of the four kinds of coal.
In Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, anthracite coal is mined two ways.
There are surface or strip mines here, and there are deep underground
mines. I also learned that many of the grandparents, great-grandparents,
and great, great grandparents of the students here came from countries
in Europe to work in the mines of Schuylkill County. On October 21, Van
Wagner came to North Schuylkill Elementary to teach us more about the
coal region of Pennsylvania. You can learn more about him at Mr. Wagner
was dressed as a coal miner. He showed us the tools that were used in
the mines years ago. We learned that life was very hard for miners and
their families. Many miners were hurt and some died working in mines.
Mr. Wagner taught us a song called “Fire in the Hole.” The
song was taught us how the miners would use black powder and later dynamite
to blast in the underground mines. To warn the other miners that an explosion
was going to happen, the miners would yell “Fire in the Hole.”
I learned a lot about the science and history related to coal when I visited
North Schuylkill Elementary!