Fraser Valley fourth-graders produce Grand County marketing brochure
May 20, 2008
A tourism book from a fourth-grader’s perspective will tell Grand County visitors about the area’s history and interesting facts.
“We have worked incredibly hard,” said Fraser Valley Elementary student Skyler Smith. “This project is very, very huge.”
Colorado state standards require the fourth-graders to learn about local government and history. Since tourism is important to Grand County, they decided to market the Fraser River Trail and signs along that path. Tourists will find the brochure at the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce and restaurants.
The guide is designed for visitors of all ages. Each topic has a page of information and an activity. Activities include dot-to-dots, word searches, cross word puzzles and mazes.
The class had the idea for the guide about a month ago.
The goal of the book is “so tourists can learn more about our community,” student Michael Barker said.
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“We really want (them) to come here again,” Smith said. “It’s fun and it’s beautiful and there is so much more to learn about it.”
Fourth grade teachers Patty Finnigan and Cindy Rimmer asked the students what they would want to see if they were tourists.
Student paired into groups to research a piece of Grand County history. About 19 groups contributed three paragraphs of information and an activity for the guide.
Topics include: the Fraser River Trail, Native Ute Indians, mammals of Grand County, wetlands, skiing, Doc Susie, beavers, boreal toad, Moffat Tunnel, insects and Colorado River cutthroat trout.
“We all picked something different and we all learned about it and put our facts in the booklet,” Barker said.
“We’ve read a lot of books,” fourth-grader Maddey Welch added.
They also listened to speakers who are experts on some of their topics.
Speakers include: Jeff Durbin, who talked about the Fraser River Trail and enhancement project; Jeff Elhert, insects; Greg Horsteman, Borial Toad and trout; Kirk Klancke, water cycle and Fraser River Trail project; Catherine Ross, Chamber of Commerce and tourism.
The student also visited Winter Park Ski Resort and Brian Reynolds’ high school business production class to learn about putting the guide together. Tina Wooley, the district’s technology coordinator helped with technology.
“This was really a community project,” Rimmer said.
Groups also included: public relations, who talk to the media; budgeting, help with the project’s funds; artistic group, design book cover and line drawings; marketing, call restaurants and businesses to put book there; and two presentation committees.
The book is about 20 pages, and the class hopes to make 1,500 copies. They will ask the towns of Fraser and Winter Park this week to support the project with $500 to $1,000 to help with their printing and production expenses. The presentation groups will talk to the boards for about 10-15 minutes, and answer questions.
“The teachers say they have never done anything like it,” said Dakota Brown of Granby.
Finnigan said the students have been on their best behavior.
“Everyone is really giving 100 percent,” she said. “They know they have an audience.”
“Parents are coming to us and telling us their kids are so excited,” Rimmer said. “Hands-on learning has been so much better.
“They’re anxious to work on the project every day,” she added. “I’ve learned more in the past couple of weeks then the entire (12) years I’ve lived there.”
They’ve been working on the project for two hours each day of school.
“They’re just so surprised by everything that they have been learning,” Rimmer said. “The students had no idea that water was being diverted to Denver. They were just up in arms.”
This could inspire them to “become advocates for causes in our community,” she added.
A link to the activity book will also be available on the Fraser Town Web site.
“This has been very exciting for us as well as the kids,” Rimmer said.
The students also decided to dedicate the book to their former principal, Reba Ferguson, who died in a car accident in April. This is the class’s last big project before school is out June 10.
“A lot of our other projects were big, but this one was really huge,” Smith said. “This is a big achievement for the fourth grade.”