Thanks to the leadership of their teacher, the second and third grade combination classroom of seven, eight and nine-year-old students at Grover Heights Elementary School in Grover Beach, California, have shown that education can lead the way to preservation.
Their teacher, Libby Anderson, combined the physical science units of simple machines and light sources with geography, math, historical timelines, journal story and poetry writing.
First, each student picked a lighthouse and turned it into a poster or scrapbook. Next, each child built a model. The model was a salt and flour map of the landform of their specific lighthouse.
On the landform map, the students teamed in pairs, built a 3D lighthouse model out of recycled items. They were quite creative in the many different ways they did this.
Once the project was completed, the models, posters and scrapbooks went on display for their parents at a Lighthouse Night, where the students presented a lighthouse poem and fun facts about the lighthouse.
Throughout the unit of study, one student named Conner, bemoaned that his beacon, California's Piedras Blancas Lighthouse did not have a lantern room. This started Conner on a campaign that he named, “Pennies for Piedras.” He drummed up the enthusiastic backing of his classmates who
emptied piggy banks and brought in pockets full of change. The students even had a bake sale.
Braving the wind gusts of 40-mph, the students became the first class to visit the
historic lighthouse. They were greeted at the lighthouse by docents of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse Association who were dressed in period costume. At that time, the students presented the lighthouse volunteers with a cashier's check in the amount of $360.30 from the “Pennies for Piedras” campaign.
Have the students stopped their campaign? No! They are determined to help
the headless lighthouse by continuing their efforts to help this historic lighthouse
regain its dignity.
This story appeared in the
May 2006 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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