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Head Start students visit Pioneer Museum for ‘Friendship Day’

Students at Troy Head Start Pre-K visited the Pioneer Museum of Alabama on Valentine’s Day. However, their teachers said they were not there to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day but something, perhaps, more important.

“We are here to celebrate Friendship Day,” said Shaquria Wood. “We want our children to understand how import friends are and how important it is to build friendships.”

Yashica Smith said that friendship is another word for love that has no boundaries.

“We all need friends and each one of us needs to be a friend,” she said.

The Head Start students visited the Pioneer Museum in an effort to build and strengthen friendships among them and to learn about times long ago.

Kelly Ormond, museum education and program coordinator, said several projects were planned for the young students.

“We want them to develop an interest in and appreciation of our heritage at an early age,” she said. “It is said that we can’t know where we are going if we don’t know where we’ve been.  The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is a wonderful place to learn where we’ve been.”

Ormond planned several activities for the children including learning about quilts and the role they played in pioneer life.

“Because the children were learning about friendship, we talked about friendship quilts and how women would come together to make quilts,” Ormond said. “A friendship quilt was usually made of several blocks from the same pattern. So, the children had the opportunity to make a quilt square using colored paper.”

Each student decorated his or her quilt square. The squares were personalized with either a handprint or a signature or both.

“The teachers took the individual squares back to the school and will put them together to make a ‘friendship’ quilt,” Ormond said. The children can visually see how individuals can come together in friendship to make something bigger than themselves.”

The children learned more about the pioneer days through another hands-on activity. They each had the opportunity to “make butter” by working the dasher in a butter churn until the milk turned to butter, which was different from the ‘butter’ in the grocery store.

Kari Barley, museum director, said the mission of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama is “that others may learn from the past.”

“And, we are always excited to have children at the museum,” she said. “There’s no better way to learn from the past than to experience it and there’s no better place to experience the past than the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.”