Museum Hosting New Display Open House on May 11th

April 27, 2021 - The museum will host an open house to introduce a new display on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 1pm to 4pm. Everyone is welcome to come by and visit.

What's the new display?

The Shelby County Museum has asked Fannie Watson, long-time teacher for Center ISD, to display materials from the year-long Community Problem Solving Projects that her gifted and talented students participated in for numerous years.

Mrs. Watson had attended a one-hour workshop in San Antonio at the gifted and talented convention in 1989 and an idea presented intrigued her, but she was a bit hesitant with so little training. It was at the beginning of the school year in 1991 that she was determined to start 'Community Problem Solving' in her sixth grade students class. They attended her class one whole day each week.

Shirley Shofner, Intermediate School secretary, gave Fannie a book entitled 'The New Read-Aloud Handbook' by Mr. Jim Trelease as the school year began.

As Mrs. Watson began reading the book, she discovered that the superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools said “If parents read-aloud to their children just 15 minutes a day, it would revolutionize the school systems.” When she began telling the incoming sixth graders what little she knew about Community Problem Solving, they seemed interested and brainstormed for ideas. Then she quoted the words of the Chicago superintendent and they immediately said, “Mrs. Watson, that is it! we will encourage Shelby County parents to read-aloud to their children just fifteen minutes a day.”

Thus, Operation: Read-Aloud became the year-long project that led the students on many adventures and sometimes struggles along the way. The class will always be thankful for Mrs. Shofner’s gift because it was the spark that started Shelby County Community Problem Solving projects and two international projects that helped an orphanage in Ukraine and a school in Zambia, Africa. Grades 3 though 5 became the support group.

Other projects displayed are Patriotism Plus, EnviroKids, EnviroKids II, Historical Trackers, Historical Trackers II, Kids for Character, Operation: Helping Hands, Hand in Hand with Zambia and her last class in 2004 was an extension of 1993-1994 Patriotism Plus.

But that is not all! Out of Mrs. Watson’s storage room emerged many other writings or pictures from earlier years. These are displayed on a table at the museum where you can browse and be proud that someone treasured your work of days gone by.

What about viewing yourself all dressed up as a god or goddess on Mt. Olympus Day! A few names that have work displayed that you might recognize are Ken Mahan, Dawn Kimmell, Nathan Rymer, Susan Pigg, Sheila Adams, Andrea Tidwell and many more. So come on over to the Shelby County Museum and browse through Center ISD memories from the past.

For a glimpse of the displayed host of the museum's website, visit