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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mukilteo Beacon - Endeavour Elementary

Students, faculty, and families gathered at Endeavor Elementary last Thursday to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mukilteo lighthouse. Combining original poetry, drama, and song, the students brought an olden age back to life and spirit.

More after the jump, or check it here, my friends: Mukilteo Beacon


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Tyson said...

"This whole thing started," says Linda Wooding, Music Director at Endeavor Elementary and writer of the play, "with me asking the children what they were interested in. They said, 'ghosts and pirates.'"

Sadly, there are very few pirates associated with the Lighthouse, and even fewer ghosts. In the end, Wooding decided to focus on the history of the building, with little splashes of the dashing and supernatural added for effect.

"There's not a lot you can do with the building," says Wooding. "It's more about the people who lived there."

Combining lengthy research with traditional folk songs, contemporary shanties, student written poetry, and beautiful black and white pictures of ships, houses, and people from long ago, the production appealed to both adults and students alike.

"I really liked the written story," says 5th grader Jonah Tarver. "The story about Peter Christiansen [the original lighthouse keeper] really pulled me in."

"It was not easy to find the history," says Wooding. "We had to dig deep. Ann Collier and the Historic Society were extremely helpful. I tried to stay as true to history as possible. I took a lot of facts and tried to make them interesting."

Her success is evident in talking with the students.

"I liked learning the history, the singing, the poetry," says 4th grader Mina Barakatain. "What I really liked was the joyful music."

"The music and the recorder parts," agrees 4th grader Nasiha Hussain.

"My dad really enjoyed the history," says 5th grader Sammie Sellers. "It was really great to meet Art Losvar."

Losvar, grandson of Peter Christiansen, helped Wooding collect the history and memories of the lighthouse. He also attended the production and met the students who helped tell his grandparents' story.

"After the production, some of the adults had tears in their eyes, and my students asked me, 'why did you make them cry?'" says Wooding. "I told them, 'sometimes adults cry when they're happy.' I wrote this as a bridge for the community. They live here, they need to know about the history."

Although it is too late to see the production, the Mukilteo Historical Society is ready and happy to introduce you to the town's colorful history. "They are really fun to work with," says Wooding. "They're just really nice people."


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