By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Marguerite E. Peaslee Elementary School hosted an evening April 14 celebrating Northborough’s 250th anniversary. The museum-style event exhibited students and classroom projects from all grade levels which related to Northborough’s history or the number 250.
Over 300 guests were greeted in the lobby with an all-school video performance of students singing, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” a song written in Northborough in 1919 by Jaan Kenbrovin and John William Kellette. The original song was released and used in a show in New York City.
Throughout the evening, fifth grade students dressed in Colonial America costumes and served as tour guides.
Principal Dr. Jill Barnhardt was very excited about the school’s involvement in celebrating Northborough’s milestone anniversary. The event has been in the planning stages since the fall.
“The project offered students the opportunity to learn about the history of their community, and it offered us the opportunity to share our learning with the community,”
Art teacher Marcia Waldman prepared a special display about Marguerite E. Peaslee, a Northborough resident who taught art for 20 years and who the school was renamed and dedicated to after her death.
Fourth grade teachers Melinda Kement and Colleen Griffin spearheaded the event and said that each grade level had many choices and options regarding the project they chose to do, but each did coincide with that grade’s curriculum in some way. The ultimate goal was to cover as many aspects of the town as possible.
Fourth grade students studied Marguerite’s life and artwork, which inspired their own tempera and crayon resist paintings featuring a sailboat–a familiar theme in her artwork.
The kindergarteners created bag houses and wrote about their favorite places in Northborough, while first graders’ “A-Z of Northborough” exhibit showcased their writings and pictures about important places in town by the alphabet.
Through the magic of green screen technology, third grade students reported from some of Northborough’s most famous monuments and memorials.
Fourth graders made their versions of a new town seal, which represented a child’s view of present day Northborough.
“We talked about memorable places in Northborough and what they thought best represented the town,” said Griffin. “They looked at the current town seal and at many other seals from different communities. The fun part was drawing and creating.”
A parallel timeline that noted the history of the settling of Northborough and the history of the founding of America was displayed outside of the fifth grade classrooms in the upper wing hallway.
Taking advantage of the 250 theme, second grade students presented their skills at making 250 cents in as many ways as possible, while the gym was filled with kids using their cup stacking talents to create a pyramid made out of 250 cups.
“It has been heartwarming to hear the students talk about their projects and to see them getting excited about Northborough’s history,” said Barnhardt.