OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Nearly 500 students from districts all over, got the chance to travel back in time and meet history face to face Friday as part of the state’s 19th “Colonial Day”.
The event put on by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence showcased “Colonial Day” in full swing Friday morning and into the afternoon with students getting to bring history to life. For those students in attendance, it was a lot of fun and games.
“Just to be able to learn about colonial times in the capitol, which is a really cool opportunity to get to have,” said Mya Blanchard next to her 5th grade classmate Cassidy Cook.
Blanchard and Cook were just two of the hundreds of students dressed all out in their colonial outfits. Teachers and even event participants said there’s no better place for students to take it all in than our own state capitol.
“Our government is here working today, and they can feel it,” said history teacher Deji Dugger. “They can see it and it is real, not something just from a book.”
“They have to know what the government is doing and coming to this facility helps them get a hold of that,” Steve Smith said. Smith dressed as and portrayed Benjamin Franklin for the event. “They also need to tell the government what they are thinking.”
Creating colonial crafts, learning colonial games and even hearing debates from patriots and loyalists were just some of the several things students could do. They also got the chance to meet history face to face by speaking to Smith as he portrayed Benjamin Franklin among other people dressed as Marquis de Lafayette and James Armistead Lafayette.
“That is what is fun about bringing history alive to these students,” Smith said. “It’s an opportunity to ask some questions of someone in history.”
Both Dugger and Smith said they hope to give the students valuable knowledge to take home as well.
“I said, we have a republic, and I added these words, if you can keep it,” Smith said. “Now, that is an important statement. I want these students to realize that it is their responsibility to keep a representative government alive.”
“Get your kids involved in history,” Dugger said. “It makes a big difference.”
Due to the pandemic, colonial day had to be virtual the past two years. That has continued alongside the actual event at the capitol itself, serving thousands of students across 150 districts in Oklahoma. For more on Colonial Day, click here.