Articles from July 2017

Down in the Coal Mine at Age 9


On my recent tour of the Lackawanna Coal Mine, I saw many young children touring with their families. The children were visibly excited and involved in what they were seeing. At a few points along the tour, the focus is on the many boys that worked in coal mines, years ago, as mule drivers, messengers, nippers, and of course, as a breaker boy sorting slate from the coal. The children I saw were amazed to learn about children as young as 9 years old working in a coal mine.

A2 rail sled cage in coal mine

The Coal Mine Tour is in the very lovely McDade Park, in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, which was created in the 1970s from reclaimed coal mining terrain. It has many activities to offer including the Boundless Playground that is a large inclusive play structure that serves children of all abilities and needs.

Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour


Quick Facts

The temperature in the Lackawanna Coal Mine is 53° year-round. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended. A light jacket can be borrowed for anyone who has not brought their own.

The descent down the slope takes 3-4 minutes. The walking portion of the coal mine tour is approximately a 1/2 mile and lasts one hour.

Video Link to Coal Mine Tour

Breaker Boys

breaker boys working in coal mine

Video Links for Breaker Boys

Be sure to check out a children’s story, “Down in the Coal Mines at Age 9” on the Kids Blog!

 Ned Campbell, authorNed M Campbell is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, who also teaches United States history at a public high school in Brooklyn, NY. He is a published writer, and a volunteer contributor to “Can Do” Street blog for kids and parents. In addition, he is the voice of Coach Campbell in the “Can Do” Street program.





Are You Ready for a Hurricane?

hurricaneA Hurricane is a real happening in many parts of the U.S. The season is here and we need to be prepared.

Some of the measures the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends taking before a hurricane hits your area are:

  • Put together a kit with emergency supplies and a family communications plan
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property in preparation for a hurricane:

  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site, or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view NFIP’s printer-friendly handout Avoiding Hurricane Damage.

During a hurricane, FEMA advises you to:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

You should evacuate if you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions for hurricane evacuation.



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