Puterbaugh Middle School 7th grade GEAR UP student’s tour Bacone College and The Five Civilized Tribes Museum

38 Puterbaugh Middle School 7th grade GEAR UP girls recently traveled to Muskogee to tour Bacone College and The Five Civilized Tribes Museum on October 22, 2018.  The tour began at the Palmer Center with students meeting with Bacone staff in the gym to discuss admissions, sports, activities, financial aid and college life.

Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Admissions and Recruitment Kaila Harjo discussed Oklahoma’s Promise stating students would need to apply for the scholarship next year as it gave students money to attend college, paying the per credit hour fee to attend Oklahoma colleges.  Ms. Harjo went on to orient students with majors available at Bacone, housing including special dorms for honors students, and advised students to include participation in the GEAR UP program on their resumes and college admission applications.  Athletic Compliance Director and Assistant Coach Juan Davis provided students with requirements for admittance to Bacone College, and upcoming changes to Bacone College including a new cafeteria and programs being reopened.  Coach Davis went on to reporting students receive one on one assistance due to small class size at Bacone College.  Coach Davis also informed students tutoring was offered every Friday in the campus library.  Students were then provided a tour of the campus with students viewing the Chickasaw Warrior statue by Enoch Kelly Haney.  Coach Davis discussed items in the Atta Loa Lodge including kachina dolls which he reported were made by the Pueblo and Navajo tribes.  He stated these dolls were said to hold spirts which dance to be released to heaven.  Coach Davis allowed students to visit the chapel stating school closed from 3-4 pm every Tuesday allowing students to attend Bacone Hour in the chapel if they chose.  Coach Davis reported if students were related to any individual’s buildings were named after they could attend Bacone College tuition free.

Students ate lunch in the Palmer Center where they were provided a variety of items by Sodexo, Inc. before travelling to The Five Civilized Tribes Museum.

Director Sean Barney provided students with a tour of the outside and downstairs portions of The Five Civilized Tribes Museum.  Mr. Barney stated the building was built in 1875 and was the highest point in Oklahoma.  Mr. Barney encouraged students to view the modesty step which assisted women with remaining modest while mounting horses.  Museum Associate Deneice Crow reported having a personal interest in Native American art and assisted with guided tours which were offered on a weekly basis.  Ms. Crow stated new art is displayed each month, with prizes given out to Master Artists during a competition in November.  Ms. Crow told students the museum contained original flooring, and encouraged students to view the angle of windows reporting this was for protection when shooting through the window and allowed for the person to view tribes as they approached.

“It was really a beautiful day for field trips today,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Stephanie Dow. “The students appeared to appreciate and respect the information related to Oklahoma and Native American history provided by Bacone College and The Five Civilized Tribes Museum.

Student Laney Lewis stated she liked the age of the campus.  Student Erindy Morgan reiterated Laney’s thoughts saying she “liked the dorms because they were so old.”  Student Kyra Kennedy reported she enjoyed information provided while upstairs at The Five Civilized Tribes Museum and “hearing about warriors.”

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

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