BOSTON (CBS) – Hundreds of elementary school students packed the Boston Common Monday, all sharing one goal; bringing Boston’s history alive.
The innovative field trip, on a beautiful day, is dedicated to fun and learning. “We are standing on Boston Common, enjoying the 10th anniversary of Making History on the Common. This is a wonderful, immersive history event,” said Liz Vizza, the head of the Friends of the Public Garden, the organization sponsoring the event. “We have over a thousand Boston school children, from 3rd to 5th grade, from almost every neighborhood in Boston,” she said.
It’s learning by doing, like contra dance, and training with Civil War reenactors from the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. “The significance is that they’re the first African American regiment raised in the north, trained the same way the white soldiers were trained,” explained Lt. Benny White, one of the members of the group.
“I like it because most kids in the world don’t know that much stuff about what happened back in the day,” said student Samara Reid.
The students played games other kids played during colonial times, and got a firsthand lesson in colonial discipline in the pillory.
The young scholars also danced with members of the Wampanoag Nation. “I hope that they’ll gain an awareness that the Wampanoag people still exist, and we’re still around, and we still practice our culture,” said Linda Coombs of the nation.
“The beautiful thing about Boston Common is that it’s the center stage of civic life. It is the people’s park, so it belongs to everyone,” Vizza said.
“I think it was really fun. It was awesome. I really like this field trip,” said student Jakayla Mitchell.
Boston Common is America’s oldest park, established in 1634. It’s original purpose was for military training and grazing cattle.