A multi-week series of events in February of each year, the Georgia History Festival includes many educational programs and competitions for children of several grade levels. A project sponsored jointly by the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools and the Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia Heritage Celebration culminates in the Georgia Day Parade with costumed figures from Georgia’s history and children in colonial apparel, on (or near) February 12, the day of Georgia’s founding.
Georgia Day celebrates the founding of the colony of Georgia by James Oglethorpe over 280 years ago on February 12, 1733. Savannah-Chatham County Public School elementary students will participate in several events, including attending the Georgia Day Parade on February 18th as they create a banner and dress in historic attire to travel down Bull Street from Forsyth Park to City Hall. There will also be several hour long hands-on In-School Presentations offered on a first-come-first-served basis to schools participating in the Georgia Day Parade. The 2015 featured historical figure and topic for both events will be: Discovering Hernando de Soto and the Impact of Spanish Exploration in Georgia.
This year the Massie Heritage Center and the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) have partnered together to offer ten of these interactive In-School Presentations allowing students an opportunity to journey back in time to the 1540’s as they learn about Hernando De Soto and the impact of Spanish exploration in Georgia. Students will rotate through four discovery stations: Maps, Hernando de Soto, Archaeology, and Native American Cultures. As they visit the stations, students will use their map skills to track down Hernando de Soto’s journey through Georgia, talk with a Hernando de Soto costumed interpreter, dig for Spanish artifacts, and learn about the Native American cultures encountered by Hernando de Soto.
Schools unable to schedule a live in-school program will have access to GHS-made videos related to the four discovery stations and a PDF with handouts and instructions to support educators in implementing an engaging learning experience with their students. For further information and to schedule your students for an In-School presentation contact the Georgia Historical Society at http://georgiahistory.com/media-events/georgia-history-festival/.