Sunshine Elementary Schools hold their annual Heritage Day

Mar. 30, 2013 @ 05:10 AM

Students that use iPods and laptops in the classroom were mesmerized by a game of Mario on an original Nintendo console at Sunshine Elementary School on Friday. Typewriters, 8-track tape players and record players also lined the tables for their viewing pleasure.

All of these technologies were part of the school’s annual Heritage Day on Friday.

“This is good for the students so they can see how much technology has changed. It is a daily part of their life,” said Tara Mauney, technology facilitator with Rutherford County Schools. “They are really interested in the old phones and typewriters.”

Heritage Day is full of hands-on learning and focuses on various traits and technologies that make up the county’s heritage.

“We love doing it and we try to add new stuff every year. Every year we have a lot of the same people come back, but we always make sure we add something,” said Neil Higgins, principal.

One of the new activities this year was archery, which was demonstrated by professional archers and archery team members from East Rutherford high and middle schools.

“The students were able to see the progression from traditional bow which is instinctive to the bows that the high school students use which have sights. They shot water bottles with the arrows and the kids loved it,” Higgins said. “This year we have more high school students and middle school students presenting. We like incorporating more students. It gets them out in front of people to speak.”

Members of the East Rutherford High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) brought in some small animals including rabbits, pigs and goats.

“The Sunshine students have had a ball. It’s continuing to show our heritage and how much it has prospered and evolved from how it used to be,” said Bryson Smith, president of the East FFA.

Along with the old technologies and animals, Heritage Day also included the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, Cherry Mountain Fire Department, turkey call makers, Civil War re-enactors, cast iron cooking and members of the Rutherford County Beekeepers Club.

“We have been talking to the kids about bees in general. Most beekeepers are old folks like us and what will happen when we are gone? We take our observation hive to schools, fairs and wherever we can to talk to the younger generation,” said Ed Sheldon, member of the beekeepers club. “These are Italian bees we have. If you don’t bother them, they don’t bother you. There are 30,000 in the hive.”