By Kim West
A group of third-graders from Lindsay Lane Christian Academy in Athens recently ventured north to Virginia, visiting the state’s historic triangle on the 407th anniversary of the colony’s first settlers.
“Few third-graders can say that they have tried their teachers of a crime, called the shots for a cannon firing and stood in the precise places that, though having struggled, catapulted a fledgling land into a new nation,” said Lindsay Lane teacher Sherry Frazier in a school media release. “Even fewer can say that they stood together in America’s first permanent English colony exactly 407 years to the day after the first settlers landed there.”
Frazier said it was the students’ first trip May 7-10 to Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg, providing “an unforgettable journey for this group of kids who love American history.”
She said teachers planned the trip after recognizing their students “unusually big appetite for learning about colonial American life, events, artifacts, foundations and grave sites of the original settlers.”
“They were particularly fascinated by the adversity these original colonists faced and how they overcame it to spearhead a colony,” Frazier said.
Third-grader Kandyce Rogers said seeing the historical sites made her grateful to the colonists.
“I really liked going to Virginia because it made me think about how we can be thankful for what we have now,” she said.
The children discovered how early colonization led to revolution, which spawned a successful new nation while touring Williamsburg and Yorktown, Frazier said.
“They learned about 18th-century medicine, marched in the formations of a fife and drum militia and found clues to the triumph of a ragtag Patriot army,” she said. “They walked in the churchyard where George Washington buried his children, sat on the steps of a colonial jail and stood in Williamsburg’s capital building in what some consider the most important room in America’s history — where forefathers decided what it really meant to be free. They also found in American’s origins much to learn from and relate to.”
Third-grader Gilman Griggs agreed, saying “We can learn that it is important to work hard and how hard they fought to help us be free.”
Third-grade teacher Amy Blaylock said the students learned firsthand about the genesis of early American government and its judicial system, and how those elements of freedom have changed since the 1700s.
“I loved the fact our students were able to peek into the past and gain a deeper understanding of how our great country developed,” she said. “Each student gained a new appreciation of how our government works today, recognized its imperfections and were challenged to be actively involved with government operations as the next generation.”