Granite Bay school’s wax museum comes to life

‘Historical figures’ tell of contributions to U.S. history and culture
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Fifth grader Jayden Kasai stood frozen, holding an apple tree, until he heard the activation code — then burst to life.

“I’m Johnny Appleseed,” he said. “I was born in 1774 … I am most known for giving apple seeds to the pioneers so they could settle here. I am also known for my kindness and generosity.”

He talked about not carrying a gun and being a Christian missionary before his death in 1845. Then he abruptly froze up again.

Jayden was part of the annual wax museum display at Ridgeview Elementary School in Granite Bay, put on by all fifth graders who chose a famous American to re-enact. The person could be living or deceased but must have left a positive impact on U.S. history or culture.

The students wrote a biographical report on their historical figure, explaining the contributions he or she made, and how the course of history may have been different had this contribution not occurred.

“We’re really stressing the critical thinking aspect of this (project),” said fifth grade teacher Abby Burke.

Preston Lehmann chose baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. The first baseman died at age 37 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

“I really like baseball a lot and I like the New York Yankees,” Preston said. “He changed the way people looked at giving up. He never gave up.”

Peri Hines played Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and helped more than 70 slaves reach freedom using the Underground Railroad before her death in 1913.

Brandon Chew picked Wilbur Wright who made the first airplane with his brother. Isabella Balboni chose Jackie Kennedy, the iconic first lady who restored the White House.

Friends Paige Tattersall and Carlee Ryder portrayed Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy respectively.

“I just think Helen Keller is a really good inspiration,” Paige said.

Keller, who was blind and deaf, and her instructor formed a relationship that lasted 49 years.

“(Anne) did a good job teaching Helen Keller and it’s really impressive,” Carlee said.

Sena Christian can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.


Some historical figures in Ridgeview’s wax museum
Neil Armstrong
Leonard Bernstein
Elizabeth Blackwell
Kit Carson
Bessie Coleman
Davy Crockett
Dian Fossey
Ulysses Grant
Jim Henson
Edwin Hubble
Sandra Day O’Connor
Rosa Parks
Molly Pitcher
Jackie Robinson