Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spend the Money!

Spend all of the money. Spend ALL of the money! SPEND ALL OF THE MONEY! How exciting to hear those words.....I don't think the smile left my face all evening. It was a fabulous experience to visit with the other Fund for Teachers Fellows! It is so wonderful to hear the fantastic things going on in classrooms around Oklahoma! But, the best part was when I received my part of the money!!! It is really unbelievable that I received this grant. I am so thankful they liked my proposal!! Even a day later, when I think about the check, all I can do is smile!
Thank you so much Fund for Teachers....But thanks most of all to all of you who listen to me about the Abernathy boys and my trip...Thank you for being excited for me! More soon.....lots more planning.....It is just a month away... :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Guthrie to Frederick

Jack made the boys ride from their temporary home in Guthrie (he was stationed there as a US Marshall) to Crossroads Ranch because he thought it would discourage the boys from wanting to go on to Santa Fe. But, boy was he wrong.
We are going to have a great adventure as we try to duplicate this first part of the trip on horseback! Thanks Marla for volunteering to be our guide and riding partner as we attempt this ride.
Tuesday will be my first riding lesson in many years! Thanks Jake for volunteering to give us some riding lessons. I am sure that it will be fun for you to be the teacher instead of the student! And, I won't hold it against you when you laugh at me! Just remember I need some encouragement also, because it has been a long time since I have been on a horse---more years than I care to admit in writing!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Plans, Plans, Plans

So many exciting things are happening as we get ready for our trip! We have contacted lots of people who seem excited to meet with us along the way. Hopefully Bill Richardson, the Gov. of NM, will be in his office the day we arrive in Santa Fe. His office likes our story and says he would be able to meet with us if he is available! Also, Bruce Salzburg, the Attorney General of Wyoming, is intriqued with the boys' story as well! We look forward to meeting with him. We are busy, busy, busy contacting people about our trip and getting ideas of where to stay and what to do when we are in different cities. Monday, April 28, we will go to the awards ceremony to pick up our check from Fund for Teachers!!!
Thanks to Lee Denney, she is trying to set up a meeting between us and Gov. Henry! Thanks Molly Levite Griffis for all your encouragement! Kids and teachers check out Molly's website www.mollygriffis.com . She has great stuff about the Abernathys and all of her own books...It is worth the time to explore around!
Sharon is my new friend in Frederick! Thanks for all the information and help that you have given us! We look forward to June 7..... I will post the Frederick website later!!
Better run for now....making more plans.........

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting Ready To Go

Here is our project overview that will give you a little history of the Abernathy Brothers if you are not familiar with their story. 99 years ago two boys from rural southwest OK, convinced their dad, US Marshall, Jack “Catch ‘em Alive Abernathy, they should be allowed to ride their horses from their home in Tipton, OK to Santa Fe, NM and back. The boys were tired of “hearing” about adventures and wanted to create their own. They studied maps, created itineraries and schemed to convince their dad they were ready for adventure. Jack relented and the boys went on their first adventure in 1909. Louis, or Bud as his brother called him, was 9 years old, and Temple was 5. They traveled over 1000 miles alone on horseback.
Later adventures include a 1910 horseback ride to NYC to see their friend Teddy Roosevelt when he returned from an African Safari. After riding in a ticker-tape parade with Teddy Roosevelt, the boys bought a car and drove home. They were 10 and 6.
The next great adventure was in 1911. They would win $10,000 if they could ride their horses from NYC to San Francisco in 60 days. It took 62. They persevered with integrity, overcoming many life-threatening obstacles and heartaches, including the death of their precious horse, Sam Bass, who traveled with them faithfully on all adventures.
Coming from a rural background our students were immediately captivated with the book, Bud and Me: The True Adventures of the Abernathy Boys, written by Temple Abernathy’s wife. No other book sparked the desire to learn like this one.
When first reading this book, one student came to mind. As a fifth grader, he was the most reluctant readers we ever taught. In planning to use this book as a read aloud, he was one of the students we endeavored to reach most. While all students benefited from this book, the true measure of the success was when he said, “This is the best book I have ever read”. We agreed!
This story resonates with students. Bud and Temple grew up when cars, motorcycles, and airplanes had just been invented. Our students are interested in all the new “gadgets” and technology of today. Deep inside each student is a desire to have adventure.
Students will not physically travel, but we will bring the adventure to them and local community members through activities, correspondence, and blogging.
We want to experience our own “adventure”. Following Bud and Temple’s footsteps will allow us to see major historical and cultural landmarks across the US we have only read or heard about. We want to compare and contrast cities, country and technology to what it was 99 years ago. We want to discover the impact these young boys made on the history of the communities and people they encountered, and we want to know the rest of the story.
We studied maps, read and reread their books, created itineraries, and dreamed! We would like to receive the Funds for Teacher Fellowship for $10,000 to recreate the boy’s adventures so we can capitalize on our students’ genuine interest in this topic. It lends itself to an interdisciplinary study of reading, writing, math, speaking, geography, history, and technology.
Can this 21st century adventure based on a 20th century one, inspire our students to seek their own adventures now and in the future? We hope to find out.
This is part of what we submitted to Fund for Teachers to receive our grant.....and Wow! We really got the Fund For Teacher grant! Donna and I are busy planning our trip right now. The fun has just begun. We are excited to meet with all the friends and family in Frederick at the Crossroads Ranch in June.....
Here is our tentative agenda....ride horses from Guthrie OK to Frederick in time to meet with all the Abernathys in Frederick on June 7....from there we will set out to Santa Fe, NM
After dropping Matt at the DFW Airport on June 22, we will set out for the biggest part of our journey....
Check back soon for updates----and hopefully podcast to hear about our journey..........