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East Davis School (Valley Oak) 1955 to 1960

Jobyna Kingsbury-Gankin tells of the family-like atmosphere at Valley Oak School.

Submitted by:  Jobyna Kingsbury-Gankin, 11/13/2007
This story relates to past.
Category(ies):  Schools, Neighborhoods

When I got married on a school Friday the 13th in March of 1959, after teaching kindergarten in the morning and bicycling home to get dressed, the 6th grade teacher took her class out to decorate her country home in Willowbank for the wedding. They wrapped white paper around the trees so the guests could find her home, and they decorated her house with white blossoms from the orchards around. Love and caring for one another was a big part of life at East Davis School (Valley Oak).
There were many experiences that added to getting to know each other better, and in the end helped with the learning experiences in the classroom. There was one boy I just couldn't deal with. One time the whole school had "Marble Day" outdoors for at least an hour. I had forgotten how to play marbles, so I sat down with this boy who was a master at the game and asked him to teach me. I learned, and he was so proud. We always got along after that.
Another experience was Kite Day. Each class made a kite, and we competed to see whose flew the highest. The custodian built the kindergarten kite. We couldn't even get ours up to fly - but after the competition was over we finally got ours to fly higher than the winning class. We were so proud.
One girl didn't talk to me or anyone for months until the day we all went on a train ride. I had seen her start to talk to one of the boys while most of the children were out with the measles. I had sat them both together on the train. After that she talked to everyone.
One of the boys spoke only German for many months. Then one day he practiced his English by copying out loud each and every word I said. It surprised me to realize what I said sometimes!  From then on he always spoke English.
East Davis School (Valley Oak) was one big family.

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