Santa Rita students pan for gold

More than 85 Santa Rita fourth graders recently spent 2 days re-living California's Gold Rush history at the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School near Sacramento. Students were divided into "Tribes" and asked to build their own shelters, or lean-tos.

Jarrett Fishpaw said that "Building the lean-to was the best part of our visit. We had to work together to design and construct our shelter using only a tarp, sticks, rocks and twine."

The fourth graders also panned for gold, made corn-bread, and hiked along the Monroe ridge trail, exploring many of the original gold rush sites.

Brenda Landaverde enjoyed participating in the mock town meeting where students, portraying farmers and developers all persuasively argued their position on whether or not an historical bridge should be paved.

Fourth grade teacher Margaret Rechif, said, "As part of our curriculum, the students study all aspects of California - it's history, geology, and geography. Every aspect of our state's development is fascinating, and this trip allowed our students to experience some of this history."

- Carol Malnick

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