***Thank you to Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company for sponsoring this post so I could fill you in on Milton Hershey School and it’s living legacy***
It was so fun to fill you in on some very cool parts of Hershey’s history last week! Hershey, PA is one of my favorite places and I love how remarkable this town and its story is. One of the most special things about Hershey is the Milton Hershey School. I only briefly touched on this school in my last post, and I’m tickled to now delve in deeper with a close look at this incredible institution.
What is Milton Hershey School?
Milton Hershey School is a cost-free, private, coeducational boarding school in Hershey, PA for more than 2000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from income-eligible families across the U.S. They believe all children deserve the very best education regardless of their financial circumstances. A family’s income should not determine a child’s outcome.
With state-of-the-art facilities, advanced technology and hundreds of extracurricular activities, Milton Hershey School truly a unique institution in that it offers a home, education, and countless opportunities via award-winning programs, experienced teachers and caring adult mentors. With small class sizes, students get lots of individualized attention and opportunities for hands-on learning.
During the school year, Milton Hershey School students live on campus in a student home with houseparents and between 8-12 students of the same age group and gender during the school year. All programs, activities, supplies and medical care are provided at no charge to students. During breaks and summer vacation, students have the option to return home or remain on campus for the Year-Round Experiences program.
You can learn more about school operations and application to attend HERE.
The History of Milton Hershey School
The school is a wonder with all the opportunities and benefits it offers to its students, and its inspiring history makes it a true living legacy–a legacy of hope, love and a better future its students.
You see, as I shared before, Milton Hershey and his wife, Kitty, were unable to have children of their own. They worked together to turn this loss into a blessing for thousands of children by opening the school and offering the hope of a promising future to each student who attended.
On November 15, 1909, the Hersheys used their wealth to create a home and school for orphaned boys in what was then called the Hershey Industrial School. The first ten students arrived in 1910, where they lived and attended classes in The Homestead, the rural birthplace of Milton Hershey. Here they were provided with a stable home life and a rigorous combination of agricultural, vocational, and academic learning.
“I wanted to give as many boys as possible real homes, real comforts, education, and training, so they would be useful and happy citizens.” — Milton Hershey, September 1924
After the untimely death of Kitty in 1915, Milton Hershey gave his entire personal fortune to the School. He continued to be involved with the School and its students until his own death at the age 88 on October 13, 1945. As noted in my earlier post, Mr. Hershey so loved and cared for his students, many viewed him as a father.
Learn more about the history of Milton Hershey School and how you can help preserve the legacy HERE.
The Milton Hershey School Legacy in Action
On a personal note, I’ve shared how growing up in the Hershey area was such a special part of my childhood, and how we still have so many ties to the area today. It’s been an honor over the years to witness Mr. Hershey’s legacy of love and opportunity in action. We have known several different houseparents, and seeing how they work so hard to care for the children in their home is inspiring. My husband and I had the opportunity in our early marriage to mentor Milton Hershey students while serving as youth leaders at our church, and these children had often struggled with difficult circumstances. Knowing they were in the care and support of the school was so valuable; seeing children in need being cared for is a gift always.
Friends, thanks for taking the time to explore the Milton Hershey School and its history with me. This institution is truly a gorgeous living legacy!