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History comes to life at Saxe Middle School

Fifth-graders at Saxe Middle School stepped back into Colonial times Friday, May 9, with the annual visit from the Fifth Connecticut Regiment.

As part of an annual event, students watched demonstrations of life in 18th-century America, as well as discussions on medicine, weaponry, food, crafts, camp life and beer brewing.

Christian White, a fifth-grade history teacher who organized the event, said Colonial Day usually takes place in April or May, when fifth-graders are learning about the American Revolutionary War era.

"In our social studies classes, we have a heavy emphasis on 17th- and 18th-century Colonial America, so this particular event directly coincides with that social studies curriculum," White said.

The group dressed the part with attire of the Revolutionary War period.

"It makes that history that we study in the textbooks come to life," White said.

After a round of workshops focused on the era, students gathered at the basketball court to watch members of the regiment fire their muskets, "the most predominantly used weapons" of the period, according to Mike Zap, one of the "soldiers."

The Bethel-based regiment is a group of volunteers dedicated to educating the public about all aspects of colonial life.

The group is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and has been performing at Saxe for more than 10 years. Previous Colonial Days featured a cannon, tavern keepers and metal-melting demonstrations among other activities, White said.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson

Nelson Oliveira

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