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Alpine Christian students watch their figures

It’s rare to see so many famous people – alive and deceased – gather together like they did Friday at Alpine Christian Academy for the school’s first annual Historical Figure Day.

ACA third-grade teacher Patty Daniels borrowed the idea from her son’s middle school class in California. Students dressed up and presented the stories of historical Americans to their classmates.

“Our historical curriculum workbooks can be a little dry,” Daniels said, “so we wanted to do something a little more hands-on and a little more creative.”



All the big names were there.

Two presidents – Abe Lincoln and his stovepipe hat, and George Washington and his white powdered wig – were spotted. So were the country’s second First Lady, Abigail Adams; authors Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder; nurse Clara Barton; and renowned Native American Pocohantas. Martin Luther King Jr. made an appearance, as did two celebrated explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and two astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.



ACA students, from first through 12th grades, in addition to parents and friends, filed into the school’s church at noon to learn about these famous Americans. Daniels introduced the students, each decked out in costume, and following a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, the third-graders’ presentations began.

Zach Allmon, as Chicago White Sox ballplayer-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday, was first up. He was followed by James Caudill, as Martin Luther King Jr., who with a darkened face and dressed in suit and tie, presented his entire speech without notes.

Jordan Chavez, as George Washington, was next, sharing some rare tidbits about the first president of the United States. “Did you know I had to borrow money to go to my own inauguration?” he asked, and, “Did you know my teeth weren’t made of wood? They were made of hippopotamus teeth, ivory and even human teeth!”

Chandler Crymble and his black jaw-line beard got a big laugh from the first-graders when his stovepipe hat got knocked off.

“I was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, but for some miraculous reason I’m standing here talking to you today,” quipped Abe.

Women were well-represented, too. Stephanie Dibaceo as American Red Cross founder Clara Barton said she was the first woman allowed on the battlefield to tend to injured soldiers.

Alida Eide as Louisa May Alcott informed the audience she wrote over 30 books, though her most famous was “Little Women.”

Abby Norton as Pocohantas told about marrying a colonist and dying when their child was just 2 years old.

Nilsse Peterson, as Laura Ingalls Wilder of “Little House on the Prairie” fame, wore a very large prairie bonnet and explained that she and her sisters all wore these brimmed caps to protect their faces from the sun. Victoria Rojo as Abigail Adams said she was one of the first American women to support equal rights for women.

After the third-graders’ presentation, the audience took a short intermission while the fourth-graders got ready to tell their stories.

“They just did great,” said Daniels, the third-graders’ proud teacher. “We want to do this every year around President’s Day. These students will never forget the historical figures they’ve chosen to portray.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

cclick@postindependent.com


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