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Books & Burrow Hosts Fourth Grade Educational Field Trip

In April 2023, Books & Burrow owner Darcie Shultz and her brother Davey Froman, owner of Miners + Monroe unveiled a new mural in downtown Pittsburg. The mural, painted by Oklahoma muralist Jessica Stout, is titled “Lenaswa Waayaahtanoki” or “Bison of the Whirlpool.”

The mural takes viewers on the journey of Shultz and Fromans ancestors and their emergence from the waters of Saakiiweesiipiwi (St. Joseph River near present-day South Bend, Indiana) and displacement to Kansas and finally northeast Oklahoma, where Shultz and Froman are current citizens of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.

With a desire to share their native american heritage with the community, Shultz and Froman began exploring educational opportunities for students to visit the mural.

“Early in the mural planning process, we knew we wanted to host an educational visit of some kind,” Shultz said. “It wasn't until the bookstore received the grant to expand our programming and develop the nonprofit branch that we were able to see the possibility of a district-wide visit.”

Shultz partnered with Pittsburg High School Launch students to develop a plan for a district-wide field trip where students would learn about the history of the Peoria Tribe, and take home a book from Books & Burrow’s non-profit Beyond the Page.

“The collaboration with the PHS Launch program was vital to the planning and implementation process,” Shultz said. “It is always great working with young, enthusiastic minds - they think of pieces of the puzzle that can easily be overlooked! I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with such talented and engaged students! Simply - this project could not have happened without them!”

In the Fall 2023 semester, students worked on researching Kansas education standards, developing ideas for pre/post visit activities. The semester culminated in a pitch presentation to the district for approval! 

Once approved, Shultz and the Launch team began implementing all the details of the trips such as communicating with the USD 250 transportation department and creating activities for students to do on the trip.

“My favorite part of this project was working with Darcie,” Launch team lead, senior Maggie Hopper said. “It's incredible to work with someone who is so involved in the community and keeps working on ways to be more involved. I really enjoyed helping her refine her vision and was glad I had a part in making it happen!”

Books & Burrow welcomed all fourth graders from USD 250 over the last week and handed out over 250 copies of “I Can Make This Promise” by Christine Day. 

“Aside from each student receiving a free book and the goal of book ownership - the exposure to my tribe's culture and history and the introduction to a new language is a piece that I hope makes a lasting impact,” Shultz said. “It was also critical that all of the field trip elements connected to the classroom curriculum and served as a supplemental learning experience to aid in the students' growth in areas of literacy, social awareness, creativity, and empathy.”

Shultz hopes to expand this project in future years and make the trip an annual program for USD 250 and possibly surrounding schools.

See more moments from the trips here.

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