Foreign exchange students visit the Adel Historical Museum


On Wednesday, May 18, Museum Director Jan Price and Don Price opened the Adel Historical Museum to welcome 11 international exchange students to share Adel’s story. Six students from Kazakhstan and five students from Kyrgyzstan were on scholarships to participate in a full-year program, but were unable to do so due to COVID restrictions. Instead, they had the opportunity to visit Washington, DC for a week and live with a host family and community for a week through the American Leadership Exchange program. Eleven ADM families welcomed these students into their homes.

Jan introduced the Student Ambassadors to Adel’s story by telling the story of the famous Adel State Bank robbery and the barn fire the robbers escaped into to lure thieves. She had a wealth of information about the exhibits in the museum. One particular element was his enthusiasm for the ice box sign which indicated how many pounds of ice were needed when the ice man made his delivery. A follow-up quiz a few days later revealed that the students not only remembered the sign, but knew exactly its purpose and how many books were listed on the sign! Jan’s telling of great stories was obviously memorable and she impressed the students.

At the end of the museum visit, Jan presented each student with an American flag t-shirt and button. The students were speechless! Not only had Jan opened the museum up to them and taken the time to comment on all the exhibits and answer questions, but his generosity overwhelmed them. Foreign students know the outer side of our country’s pop culture, movies, and fashion, but don’t know the inner side of the nature and generosity of its people. They had seen several during their stay in Adel and Jan’s was one more.

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Patrick F. Williams