EATON — William Bruce Elementary School held its annual fourth grade Pioneer Day on Friday, May 18. The day allowed students to dress as pioneers and learn what life was like in the “old days.”
According to fourth grade teacher Bev Richardson, Pioneer Day was created 33 years ago to teach children how those who settled the land lived. The day was created by the fourth grade teachers, headed by Kayleen Dunker.
Students came to school on Friday dressed as pioneers. In the morning, they learned about how life was during the Civil War — these lessons were taught by the Civil War Militia reenactors. The members of the group wear Civil War attire and talk about the different jobs and roles of the men, women, and children during the war.
In the afternoon, students attend stations to learn more about the life of pioneers. The stations included Horse Farrier, Candle Dipping, Quilting, Pioneer Clothing, Soap Making, Fiddler, Native American Artifacts (Cope Center), Native American Art, Pioneer Games, Fur Trappers, Square Dancing, and Farm Life.
Students get to make candle and take homemade soap home.
“It is a good experience for the students to have because they have a hard time imagining what life is like without the technology we have today,” Richardson said. “It is hard for them to realize that we used to grow our own food, people had only two outfits to wear every day, they had to make their own clothing and shoes, they had to wait weeks to months to hear from loved ones, and it took a long time to travel to town to get supplies.”
“Planning for this day begins at the beginning of the school year,” she explained. “We have to ask for people to volunteer their time, we have to ask parents to help, we have to discuss pioneer life with the students before we make it authentic for them, and much more goes into planning this day.”
Richardson added, students look forward to the day and dressing up. Some of them even wear the same outfits their parents wore in fourth grade.
“We would like to thank the Ohio Civil War Militia, Cope Center, Preble County Historical Society, Parent Volunteers, Preble County Art Center, and Numerous Historians who ran their stations,” Richardson noted.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH