Students and teachers described the field trip as “fascinating and spooky.”
Last Thursday, May 9, Westerville South High School English teacher Courtney Mango took her Comparative Studies literature class to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. They had just finished reading Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, a novella by Stephen King from his 1982 collection Different Seasons, subtitled Hope Springs Eternal. It is loosely based on the Leo Tolstoy short story, God Sees the Truth, But Waits. It was adapted for the screen in 1994 as The Shawshank Redemption, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1994, including Best Picture. The students also watched that film, which recently marked its 25th anniversary.
The Ohio State Reformatory, also known as the Mansfield Reformatory, is a historic prison that was built between 1886 and 1910 and remained in operation until 1990, when a United States Federal Court ruling ordered the facility to be closed.
Students raised all of the money for this trip themselves through the Westerville Education Foundation’s Fund-a-Project. “This was such a great experience,” said Mango. “I encourage all of my colleagues to try it so kids can go more places and the classroom can extend beyond our buildings.”