the Ephrata Cloister

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Educational Programs

Ever since Brother Obed opened a school for local children in the 1740s, the Ephrata Cloister has been a place where young people have come to learn. Now, more than two centuries later, the buildings and objects of the past have survived to tell the story of this unique Pennsylvania community to new generations.

A visit to the Ephrata Cloister can mean an excellent complement to your lessons. Teachers may choose from three different programs, each with their own format:

General Tours offer students a look inside the two large structures, the Sisters' House and the Meetinghouse

Special Focus Visits introduce specific lessons about life in early Pennsylvania and the Cloister.

Community Days offer an "open house" which brings the Ephrata Cloister to life with various learning stations, and is an excellent self-directed program specially suited to multiple age groups and home schools.

At the Ephrata Cloister, teachers will find:

  • Historic buildings and objects to visit and explore
  • Prelude to the New World, an exhibit that introduces Ephrata’s history to visitors
  • The Museum Store at Ephrata Cloister, stocked with books, reproductions, candy, and good things for teachers and students
  • Picnic tables, restrooms, a water fountain, and soft drink machines
  • Ample free parking for busses, vans, and cars

Call the Ephrata Cloister for more details about each of these programs and to make the required reservations for your school visit.

Remember that April and May are the busiest times for schools to visit and program space is limited in some programs. Plan to make your reservations early.


Woodcut of Sister
632 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522
Telephone (717) 733-6600 • Fax: (717) 733-4364

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