Ripples Felt Across the Ocean

In the fall of 1939, a Danville, Iowa, teacher, Miss Birdie Mathews introduced her International Exchange Project in an effort to connect her students with other students across the globe. The Wagner sisters, Betty and Juanita, connected with Anne Frank and her sister, Margot. Today, one set of the letters is in a museum in Los Angeles and the second is in Danville, Iowa. The Danville Museum was founded in 2007 in an effort to keep these memories alive and to remind everyone that letters between young school girls spanned a world that was in the midst of a horrific war.

The City of Danville received a $5,000 matching grant to help plan and redevelop the Danville Station. Danville Telecom led the drive for the Ripple Effect grant by first approving its $5,000 grant for the project. With the $10,000 grant, Ripple Effect and Danville Telecom will help the community complete the Danville Station in 2016. The museum will house not only the Anne Frank Museum, but the city’s community center and library.

According to Kim Perlstein, Danville Museum Board Member, “Our facility may be small, but it is mighty!”