Students at Sierra Vista Junior High School learned about what life was like on the frontier 170 years ago, during Friday’s Pioneer Day at the school.
As one student described it, Sierra Vista Junior High School went back to the past on Friday; it was all part of the school’s inaugural Pioneer Day.
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Students and teachers spent the morning on the track field, learning how to card and spin wool, care for horses, start a fire with kindling and churn butter. There was also a life-sized replica of a wagon.
Skye Ostrom, science teacher and Sierra Vista, organized the event with her family and several close friends, who have experience in pioneer history and reenactments.
Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste also joined the event to give students a preview of what they could expect to see at the Cowboy Festival. She also shared hiking safety tips for Santa Clarita’s open spaces.
She wanted to encourage the children find fun ways to exercise and to “share with them some of the joys of simple things and not just get caught up in the mechanical things.”
Dennis Neice, a family friend of Ostrom’s, grew up in the hills of Kentucky and taught himself to read when he was 20 years old. Now he buys and sells antiques and builds wagons by hand.
He explained to the students the importance of wagons on the frontier and the lifestyle of pioneers on the trail.
Dr. Rachael Sachar is Ostrom’s sister and the local equine veterinarian who firefighters recently called on to help rescue a horse in Angeles National Forest.
She brought two miniature horses to the presentation and spoke to the students about the importance of horses on the frontier and how veterinary medicine has changed over the years, including the ways that vets diagnose animals.
The students were eager to learn and asked good questions, Weste said.
Some shared that they had a better understanding of the way things were 170 years ago.
“When you look at the wagon, you realize how little space is in there,” said 8th grader Emily DeJesus.
She didn’t realize how little the pioneers could bring with them and how much they had to leave behind, she said.
The event was inspired by Ostrom’s belief that it takes a village to raise a child, and she wanted to “bring my village to help teach my kids, …teaching things that no one else would take the time to teach them,” she said.
“The butter and the whipped cream taste better than I expected,” said 8th grader Kimmie Finley, after visiting Ostrom’s butter churning station.
And next year, Sierra Vista wants to make the event even bigger, with more community participation, Ostrom said.
For more pictures from Friday’s Pioneer Day, visit KHTS on Facebook.
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Source: Santa Clarita News