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Lincoln Penny Story Hour

Do you know the story behind the Lincoln Penny and how it serves as an enduring symbol of freedom and diversity in our country?  The proud little penny carries a deep meaning for Americans of all ages!

The Ruthmere Museum is proud to host the FREE program series, the Lincoln Penny Story Hour (LPSH), which officially launched on Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 2024.

Even though we talk about the history of money, the LPSH is not a fund-raiser, it’s a consciousness-raiser! For each LPSH Ruthmere invites a member of our community to read an age-appropriate children’s book to 6-8 year olds either from a visiting school or with their families, but sometimes the LPSH event is for ALL-AGES.  This is a story hour with a specific purpose. These stories are reflections of each reader’s distinct background, and communicate the values of diversity, inclusion, unity and liberty. 

After the story reading, there is a customized activity at each LPSH, and every child receives a Lincoln Penny souvenir in a keepsake jacket as a reminder of why this experience is important.

To become an LPSH Sponsor, contact Bill Firstenberger at 574-264-0330 ext. 105 or at

Past LPSH Readers and Books

February 12, 2024
Reader: Regina Roberson

Regina Roberson, a Senior Coordinator of CELL's (The University of Indianapolis's) Urban College Acceleration Network (UCAN), provides coaching and support to urban high schools throughout Indiana as they develop and implement Early College programs.  Regina has spent the last twenty-six years as an educator, with time spent as an Early College Career Counselor, high school counselor, middle school counselor, and school social worker.  Before becoming an educator, Regina was a probation officer for Elkhart County. She received her BA in Criminal Justice from Indiana University in Bloomington and her MSEd in Counseling from Indiana University in South Bend. Regina passionately believes all students can become college and career-ready if provided opportunity and resources. Regina has four children and three grandchildren. She enjoys watching most sports, attending church, reading, and hanging out with family and friends. You may also see Regina around town in Elkhart with her husband Rod, the Mayor of Elkhart.

Book: I Am Enough By Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo 

The Lincoln Penny Story Hour Series is Sponsored by:

2024-25 LPSH Event Dates
Readers and Books

  • June 22, 2024
    Time: 1pm
    Location: Ruthmere Gardens (Weather Permitting)
    or Ruthmere Game Room if Indoors
    :  Jake Webster

    Jake Webster, sculptor, mixed media artist, and spoken word performer. My work speaks about my community and the environment in which I live. I use the tradition of direct carving in wood and stone and apply a contemporary attitude by creating art with whatever is at hand to tell a story.

    On August 10, 2015, I was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary “Dreaming in Public”. It was aired on PBS. The documentary was produced by Grass Roots Media. The film is about making a living as artists in the midwest.

    I always begin my sculpting process by writing poetry. Poetry is the fastest way for me to get an idea from my head to paper. Now that I got the idea down on paper, the sculpting begins. As a child growing up in Mississippi before I learned to draw and paint, I would sit up and cry because so much was happening around me and nobody was recording it, so I would write it down knowing that one day I was going to learn how to MAKE ART.

    When you come to view my sculptures and to listen to my poetry there are two things you must know, “Art is never anything you want it to be” always ask questions and “beauty is never in the eye of the beholder” always ask questions.

  • Book: Freedom Over Me By Ashley Bryan
    Audience: THIS LPSH IS OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND IS AN ALL-AGES READING.  FREE admission, registration requested. 
    This LPSH is supported by Indiana Humanities with a One State / One Story grant and Event Sponsor Centier Bank.


  • September 18, 2024
    Time: 11am & 12pm
    Location: Ruthmere Game Room
    Liliana Quintero

    Liliana Quintero has served as the Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition (NIHHC) since 2005. She is responsible for the supervision, management, and operation of the Elkhart and Warsaw offices. She holds a BS in electrical engineering, an MSc in industrial engineering, and an MBA from Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB). A native of Bogotá, Colombia, she came to the United States to complete her MBA and chose to stay and work to empower community members to take charge of their health. Through her leadership directing NIHHC’s educational programs and health services, thousands of community members in northern Indiana have been given a “second chance” at improved health. She actively remains at the forefront of health care initiatives that respond to the unique needs of the community and regularly serves on committees addressing preventative healthcare in the region. She is a tireless advocate for the health and well-being of the Hispanic community in Northern Indiana.

     Ms. Quintero’s work has been recognized through several awards, including IUSB’s Unsung Latina Heroine Award for Northern Indiana, the American Heart Association’s Heart Hero honor, and the YWCA’s Woman of Service Award. She has served on Goshen Hospital’s board of directors since 2017 and on the Goshen Health Community Benefit Fund’s committee since 2018. In 2019, Ms. Quintero received a Key to the City of Elkhart from Mayor Timothy Neese for her undying commitment and public service to and for the children of Elkhart, with special recognition of the Healthy Hearts program, for which Ms. Quintero wrote and published the curriculum. Ms. Quintero also received the Thomas Atkins Recognition for Minority Business Leader Award in 2019 from Junior Achievement of Elkhart County and was inducted into their Business Legacy Hall of Fame. Only ten Elkhart County community members receive such awards for induction into the Business Legacy Hall of Fame each year, in honor of their leadership, outstanding professional achievement, and dedication to important civic causes.

  • Book: A Thousand White Butterflies By Jessica Betancourt-Perez and Karen Lynn Williams  
    This LPSH is supported by Event Sponsor Centier Bank. 

  • January 21, 2025 
    Time: 11am
    Location: Ruthmere Game Room
    :  Susan Miller

  • Susan grew up in an Amish family in the Shipshewana area, most of her family is still Amish. In 1987 she left that church and joined a Mennonite church. It was soon after that when she volunteered for a mission project in Germany which kept her in that country for over 16 years. During that time she helped with a lot of the children's work at the church.

    She is now retired and lives with her husband Ray Miller in Middlebury. Susan served as the Managing Director at Menno-Hof in Shipshewana from 2010 through 2021. 

    Susan's formal education ended at 9th grade, but she did go back and finish her high school diploma later in life. The rest of her "real world education" she accomplished through helpful and kind employers who provided computer training, and her natural knack for organization and love of people.

  • Book: An Amish Alphabet By Ingrid Hess 
    This LPSH is supported by Event Sponsor Centier Bank. 


  • February 12, 2025
    Time: 11am
    Location: Ruthmere Game Room
    Irwin Larrier

    Irwin Larrier is a dedicated leader with a dual role as the Executive Director at the Center for Community Justice in Elkhart, Indiana, and as an Associate Pastor at The Grace Place in South Bend. With a fervent commitment to advocating for youth and championing second chances, Irwin is a driving force for positive change in his community.

    In his role as Executive Director at the Center for Community Justice, Irwin works tirelessly to promote restorative justice practices and community healing. He is deeply passionate about providing support and resources for individuals entangled in the criminal justice system, believing strongly in the potential for redemption and reconciliation.

    Simultaneously, as an Associate Pastor at The Grace Place, Irwin brings his compassionate spirit and empathetic storytelling to guide congregants through life's challenges. His messages of hope, resilience, and forgiveness resonate deeply with his audience, inspiring them to embrace second chances and pursue personal growth.

    Irwin's advocacy extends beyond his professional roles, as he is widely recognized as an inspirational speaker and empathetic storyteller. His compelling talks on youth advocacy, restorative justice, and the transformative power of redemption leave a lasting impact, motivating others to join him in fostering a more just and compassionate society.

    Irwin Larrier's unwavering dedication to advocating for youth, second chances, and community healing makes him a respected leader and role model in Elkhart, Indiana, and beyond. Through his leadership, advocacy, and storytelling, Irwin continues to positively influence the lives of individuals and communities, embodying the values of compassion, forgiveness, and empowerment.

  • Book: TBD  
    This LPSH is supported by Event Sponsor Centier Bank. 



302 E. Beardsley Ave.

Elkhart, IN 46514

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