All about heritage
By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — Students at Salisbury Academy learned about birds and bees and snacked on Apple Ugly pastries during the school’s second annual Heritage Fair last week.
They spent the morning rotating through eight hands-on stations to learn about shag dancing, agriculture, raptors, bluegrass music, rocks and gems, pottery, bees and the environment.
Second-grade teacher Mary Lou Williams organized the event as a way to expose students in kindergarten through eighth grades to North Carolina history.
“The children learn a lot about global issues and the history of the country, but there is not a part of our curriculum that focuses on just North Carolina,” she said. “By doing this, we’re hoping to meet the same standards that public schools have.”
Williams said students spent time in their classrooms studying the state’s history before watching it come to life.
“I love this, this is what Salisbury Academy is all about, experimental learning,” Head of School Diane Fisher said. “We try to take children out in the community when we can, but there are some places we can’t go so we try to bring the community to them.
“This is so much better than just reading about it in a book.”
Seventh-graders Harrison Smith and Ann Fisher Lindsay said their favorite part of the event was learning about bluegrass from local musicians Carrie and Eric Webster.
Carrie Webster also taught the students how to flat foot and clog dance.
“This is way better than being in class,” Smith said. “I was looking foward to it.”
Lindsay said it was not only interesting to learn the dance moves, but also the specifics of each instrument.
Fifth-grader Ivy Overcash said learning to shag dance was the highlight of her day.
“I’ve never shag danced before so it’s definitely something different that I wouldn’t’ get to try otherwise,” she said.
Overcash said Tonya Brinegar-German provided valuable information about raptors, and beekeeper Buddy Kyles gave a detailed presentation about the buzzing insects.
“I didn’t really have a lot of prior knowledge about honeybees so I learned how they make honey and how the colonies work,” Overcash said.
Williams spent several months lining up the volunteers for the event.
“I’ve been so impressed with the generosity of the community for giving their time,” she said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.