Our Mission in Action

Connecting Past and Present, Farm Trip 2018

LREI Archivist Yukie Ohta with Director of Communication Peter Martin
In preparation for Deborah and Shelby's farm trip, LREI trustee, parent, and archivist Yukie Ohta returned to the Sixth Avenue classroom with photos in hand, and a slideshow presentation for the wide-eyed eight year-old students that awaited her visit.
Just as LREI's annual farm field trip has become an LREI tradition, Yukie Ohta's class lecture has become an integral event for the third and fourth grade communites.
In 1925, LREI held it's first farm trip - as the class would learn, it lasted an entire month, and the entire division attended. It was Elisabeth Irwin's belief that for students growing up in the city, spending time in nature was imperative. Ninety-two years later, the school continues this tradition. Next week, our fourth graders will become the 93rd group to make the journey. In connecting past and present, LREI students are able to contextualize that they are in fact becoming part of the history that they are learning about; thereby ensuring a continuity of curiosity and adventure that will continue beyond their years at LREI. 
Through a customized slideshow of archival black and white photographs, the class was exposed to images of LREI farm trips that had preceded them. "You are all part of a very long tradition," Elaine stated. Through this visual time warp, each student found commonalities between themselves and the children in the photos. Even in differentiating between time and place of five years ago, or fifty years ago, the class observed that the generations of students share similar experiences during the trip; and hold the same enjoyment in nature. "They all look so happy on the hikes," one student exclaimed when he examined several hiking photos of third and fourth graders smiling. When Yukie asked the group "how the trip from long ago differed from more recent images," one student was quick to point out, "the kids clothing may look older, but they look like they are having so much fun - just like kids in newer pictures." Upon finding a photo of her daughter on the trip, Yukie remarked that she recalled the exact bunk that was used two years ago. "Some of you will be in that very room," Shelby added. 
"Ninety years from now, LREI students will look back on our photos just as we are doing now," another student concluded. 
To read Yukie's blog post 'Archives in the Classroom, Part II - The Farm Trip' (10.16.17), click HERE
To read Yukie's blog initial entry 'Archives in the Classroom (11.8.16), click HERE.
Text entry read from a June camper (1960s) - I have been in June Camp in the Sixes and the Sevens and liked it very much each time. Each time I had a lot of fun and I think my classmates did also. Both years i had people in my bunk that I liked very much. This year i think June Camp will be the most fun. There is not a thing i didn't like about June Camp.

*Images courtesy of LREI Archives, all rights reserved.
Little Red School House
and Elisabeth Irwin High School

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