Plowing the fields and washing clothes in a bucket took students at The Winston School in Dallas, Texas back into history at their recent “Pioneer Day.” The school’s third and fourth grade classes gathered with great excitement as they ventured out into their cold wooded playground to meet with their Senior Buddies to experience a trip back in time. Together, they shared the experiences once practiced daily by our early settlers.
Stations were scattered throughout the area where activities such as washing clothes, cooking cornbread and marshmallows on an open fire, chopping wood, dipping candles, creating tin lanterns, and making cornhusks dolls taught them how creative our earlier ancestors had to be to survive. Assisting the students were Winston faculty members Tony Della Costa, Melenie Meyer, Ngina Hardy and Karen Parrish. The activity was organized by Genie Frasier, Winston’s third grade teacher.
Ms. Frasier annually organizes Pioneer Day and a Cowboy Day in an effort to help children experience firsthand what their ancestors had to do on a daily basis. According to Frasier, “Pioneer Day is an experiential learning opportunity. Many times history can be dull and dry. This activity gives students the chance to see how life was long ago and actually participate. Active participation allows children to engage and also creates memories!” Many memories were made on this day by all who attended.
Each year, the lower school children buddy with a senior student. They share in activities throughout the year, such as seniors writing letters to the lower school students prior to Pioneer Day, decorating Valentine cookies together, and having the lower school host a luncheon honoring the seniors.
The Winston School is a small college preparatory school designed to maximize the potential of bright students who learn differently. For more information, go to www.winston-school.org.