by Lisa Tome
When the eighth graders from Rising Sun Middle School head to the Civil War Reenactment and living history lessons on Friday, October 23, they will see one of their classmates at work.
Sarah Farrington, a RSMS eighth grader, has been reenacting the Civil War for as long as she can remember.
"I've been doing it almost all my life," said Farrington.
Farrington's mother, Shannon, has long provided lessons to school students. Shannon Farrington shares Civil War attire - shawls, head wear, and more. She also teaches students etiquette rules for the 1860s. Sarah helps out.
"I was looking forward to this year and sharing this with my classmates. I'm excited to do it," Sarah said.
Sarah isn't the only Rising Sun Middle School student who plays a role in the annual reenactment.
School Social Studies teacher Tim Bower said that many students have a part in promoting the event. For the second year, as a service learning requirement, eighth graders have made posters marketing the reenactment. Those posters will hang in store fronts and at local businesses to make people aware of the reenactment.
One of the challenges with creating the promotional materials is making sure they are time-period appropriate. That means using black and white art.
Another element to the service learning, is that students sell t-shirts. The t-shirts promote both history and the Civil War Encampment. Proceeds from the shirt sales are then donated to the Cecil County Historical Society and the Rising Sun Historical Preservation Commission.
Bower said that the Civil War is part of the eighth grade Social Studies curriculum. But one challenge is that it is taught later in the school year. "We are studying the Revolution. But we do a little preparation (on the Civil War) before the reenactment," said Bower.
Like Sarah Farrington, Zach Jackson, a fellow eighth grader won't be seeing the reenactment for the first time. "It's a really cool event. They have all these tents up. The reenactors are so knowledgeable. They will sit and talk to you about it," said Jackson. "I learned a lot down there. I love going there every year."