Kenneth P. Morris Elementary

Making Memories at Family Nature Night

May 4, 2016

Kenneth P. Morris students, their families, and SOLE partners joined together for a night of fun, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

DSC_0089

Students and their families enjoyed an evening of nature themed fun with Colorado Parks & Wildlife and our fantastic participating partners:  Jackson Lake State Park, Wray History Museum, and Bird Conservancy of the Rockies.

As the sun beamed through blue skies, the evening presented an array of exciting, educational outdoor activities. Families shouted with delight during Backyard Bass fishing practice and gazed wide-eyed into a neighboring tank of live fish. In their own gym, students gasped with excitement as they tried their hands at archery.

Families worked together to solve wildlife trivia questions and practiced grinding corn using a mano y metate. After exploring Native American history, students squinted through binoculars to identify bird photos that graced the building- not to mention the live turkey vultures that soared above!

As always, the night culminated with pizza and prizes. Thanks to Cabela’s, many families went home with great outdoor gear such as kids’ tents, sleeping bags, and water bottles. Others won fishing poles, binoculars, History Colorado tickets, and even our grand prize annual State Parks pass!

What a beautiful, sunny evening to be outside! The only thing better than getting kids outdoors is including the entire family. The SOLE program would like to thank all of our partners, Kenneth P. Morris staff, and everyone else who made this event happen.


Exploring Colorado’s History

Students from Yuma’s Kenneth P. Morris Elementary ventured to History Colorado recently to take a trip back in time and explore some of our state’s story of yesteryear!

image (2)
Yuma Indians preparing to take a trip back in time as they arrived at the History Colorado Center.

The group of 4th graders started their tour at Destination Colorado, an exhibit staged and modeled after the now mostly deserted settlement of Keota. But down at History Colorado Center, Keota is still a flourishing town (It is 1918 down there, after all!)

SOLE students got the chance to trade goods at the general store, take some “old-timey” photos to add to the town yearbook, cruise in a Model T ford down a dusty two-track road, and yes, even complete a few chores kids like them would have had to do back in the day like milking the cows and taking eggs to the market.

On their way towards the deep, dark mines, the 4th graders got to explore the Living West exhibit where they learned about Native American culture and the day to day life of Mesa Verde inhabitants.

image_4
Exploring the informational cubbies inside a giant bison; what’s inside?

Before Yuma Indians headed towards Bent’s Fort, they made sure to stop by the giant Bison, an interpretive model that shows just how valuable every part of the animal was to the Natives. Students loved opening each cubbie to discover what was inside and how resourceful any early settlers living out on the plains had to be.

image_2
Trading was the name of the game for early settlers and Native Americans (and this group of Indians.)

A quick trading game at the Fort gave students insight into early bartering and trading practices used by both the Native Americans and early settlers as their territories began to approach one another’s.

The real hit among the Yuma students, however, was the Sunnyside Mine.

Here, SOLE students got the chance to descend down a shaking mine elevator so they could try their hand at “mucking”, or moving shovel-fulls of ore after a dynamite blast. The going for those miners was tough, doing heavy and dirty work day in and day out, but even still, students loved the chance to conclude their day with a dynamite “blast” they set themselves.

“Fire in the hole!”

We had a great afternoon walking through time with the Yuma Indians, and we can’t wait to see the 4th graders, teachers, and their wonderful accompanying staff again!