SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Sunshine Elementary School in Springfield is encouraging all of its alumni to come back and celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary this fall.
The school will host a celebration event on the evening of Oct. 24 and staff members are putting together a memory D-V-D of old photos.
A 150th anniversary is known as a Sesquicentennial. The word is hard for elementary students to say and is also hard to spell, but Principal David Martin said the word will be on the spelling list in each classroom this fall.
The Sunshine School’s 150 year history in Springfield means some current students can trace sunshine attendance back through several generations in their family tree.
“My grandma came here I believe in third grade,” said fifth grader Jada Watson. “And my cousin, she's thirteen she came here in fifth grade. So about three [generations], I don't know."
Martin said students were excited at the first assembly of the year when they learned how special their school is. Martin said teachers and staff will look for creative ways to integrate the school’s unique history into curriculum this school year.
Martin said one demonstration at the assembly helped students visualize the concept.
"One of the examples we did, we had 30 kindergartners who are all 5 years old stand up at the front of the gym,” Martin said. “We all counted by 5's up to 150. That really impressed upon them how old this school really is."
The Sunshine School started as a one-room schoolhouse in 1864, but that structure burnt down.
The school's current structure was built in 1930.
It has the modern features communities expect of today's schools, like a library, which was added on in the 1990's. The school also has security cameras.
However, many timeless features have been preserved such as the bell calling for the end of recess, the sturdy hardwood floors and the wooden cabinets where students place their backpacks.
To learn more about the school’s 150th anniversary celebration, contact Principal David Martin at 417-523-5200. The school also has a Facebook page.