What We Teach

What We Teach

Peter Vrinios

1/8/2024 | Selena Gonzalez, Education Program Specialist

What We Teach, a series that gives an inside look into youth programs that emphasize local perspectives of history & culture in East Central Illinois.

Our immigration/migration field trip emphasizes local perspectives of immigrants and migrants who settled in Champaign County, complimenting schools' broader lessons on immigrants and migrants in America. In a portion of this field trip program, students will learn about key immigrants and migrants who left a lasting impact on Champaign County such as Peter Vrinios who immigrated to Champaign County in the late 1890s from Greece.

Peter opened his own storefront “The Champaign Candy Company” in downtown Champaign near the vaudeville theater and train station where he sold candies, ice cream, and other treats. He is one of many immigrants that are mentioned in this rotation.

As students learn their stories, they will be tasked with packing a suitcase for the permanent move and must decide what is a need and what is a want as their suitcase limit is 50 pounds. What would you pack if you were Peter Vrinios moving from Greece to Tuscola, IL to start a confectionery (candy) business?