History on display at Wrightsville Beach School

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Staff photo by Cole Dittmer 

Wrightsville Beach School fourth graders Avery Jones, left, and Riley Johnson present their research about the fall of Fort Fisher while dressed in Confederate and Union Army uniforms during the WBS History and Service Learning Fair Friday, May 9.



The local history of Wrightsville Beach and the Cape Fear Region was displayed at Wrightsville Beach School Friday, May 9, for the school’s second annual Local History and Service Learning Fair. 

Around 60 projects created by the third, fourth and fifth grade Academic or Intellectually Gifted students filled the school’s cafeteria. 

AIG specialist Katherine Kochakji said the students researched a topic and wrote a paper, and could choose to either create a trifold display, iMovie or scrapbook. 

“I tell them to pick something they are interested in and just go with it,” Kochakji said.

Fifth graders Abigail Richardson and Kirsten Jensen chose to complete a project about the New Hanover County Arboretum by following the 7-acre property’s history and its various features. 

“Our favorite part is the Japanese garden because it has the flowers, tea house and koi pond,” Richardson said. 

Airlie Gardens, just across Bradley Creek from the arboretum, was the subject of an iMovie produced by third graders Rahul Caycee and Miller Dumas. The video followed the two during a tour of the gardens with historical anecdotes about the Joneses and the gardens’ features. 

Costumes were also welcomed at the fair, and fourth graders Avery Jones and Riley Johnson were dressed as Union and Confederate soldiers for a project about the fall of Fort Fisher. 

“I had relatives who were actually in the Confederate Army and I wanted to learn more about them,” Jones said. “It was my great-great-great-great-grandfather.”

The name Cape Fear always intrigued third grader Christopher Agrella and its history was an easy choice when finding a subject. Agrella discovered the name came from 16th-century explorers who called it the Cape of Fear because of the treacherous shoals around its mouth. 

“If I could rename it I would call it Cape Fun because I get to do things like play golf and swim in the ocean,” Agrella said. 

Agrella’s presentation included a map of all the shipwrecks along the Cape Fear coast and information about the Frying Pan Light Tower. 

Choosing to complete a service project for his assignment, fifth grader Tab Taylor focused on cleaning up the beach strand near his family’s Wrightsville Beach home. Taylor collected five bags worth of litter and worked with Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens to complete his project. 

The subjects of other projects in the room included Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, the trolley line, the American flag, the history of Landfall, Britt’s Donuts, the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship and Venus flytraps. 

email cole@luminanews.com  


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