Poodle skirts, a scrub board, a rotary telephone, and a carhop all showed up at Mayfield Elementary Schools' '50s Celebration last week ... and then a sock hop broke out.The school's five …
Poodle skirts, a scrub board, a rotary telephone, and a carhop all showed up at Mayfield Elementary Schools' '50s Celebration last week ... and then a sock hop broke out.
The school's five kindergarten teachers, guided by Yolanda Edwards, staged the event to teach the students in kindergarten (and the first and second grades) about the history of the 1950s.
Other kindergarten teachers included Erin Cole, Jeanelle Frazier, Claudia Parker and Punky Gibson.
The educators were joined by another fivesome from the Bradley County Senior Center, a group of "young" ladies who vividly remember growing up in the 1950s.
These ladies included Senior Center Director Sharon Winfield, Hazel Willis, Creddia York, Wylene McCallister and Doris Lapre.
The instructional portion of the day's activities began with the school's approximately 100 kindergarten students all crowded into a single classroom. They received lessons on several items which were widely used during the exact middle of the 20th century.
Willis demonstrated a large wash bucket and a scrub board, showing the young students how dirty clothes were washed 60 to 70 years ago.
The students were encouraged to ask questions, and many volunteered. It was evident that many of the things they were told, they didn't understand.
York followed Willis' demonstration with a show-and-tell session relating to a rotary telephone. This lesson was especially interesting for these children of today's smartphone world.
Following the demonstrations by the senior ladies, everyone moved to the gymnasium for a sock hop. It was a grand time of movement and dance that the students appeared to enjoy.
The senior visitors, and instructors, all joined the students in performing to the older rock-and-roll music.
A number of the dancers, from each age group, were dressed out in 1950s apparel.
Several of the female students wore poodle skirts, matching a couple of the senior ladies.
One teacher, Erin Cole, was dressed as a carhop. She said her students asked, "What's a carhop?"
Cole also expressed her appreciation for the involvement of the Senior Center members. "They're very knowledgeable, and they brought a lot to the table," she said. "The items they brought were interesting" and appropriate for the decade being celebrated, she said.
Cole's outfit as a carhop was very realistic, and she would have fit the 1950s stereotype very well. Her roller skates may have been an unusual addition, but not for her. In addition to her teaching career, she is also a Roller Derby participant.
The 50s theme was copied from last year's 100s Celebration at Mayfield, during which the teachers and students dressed up as centenarians.
"We felt it would be good to have two, similar celebrations each year, from which the students can learn about their history," said Frazier.
"They're very knowledgeable, and they brought a lot to the table. The items they brought were interesting." — Erin Cole
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