Each November draws large crowds to the home and pre-school of Carol Ann Stream of Huntington for a program filled with shouts and smiles, as many from the audience as the participants.
Stream, who has held a morning and afternoon preschool for many years, spends the greater part of a month introducing Native American culture to the children in her care. Her staff of holiday helpers this year are her daughters, Adri Stream, and Amber Staub of Houston, Texas. They teach the children about how the Indians lived, grew corn and other crops. They actually grind corn with rocks on the cement patio, and also mix up corn bread, bake and eat it.
"Of course, the corn we ground wasn't used for the corn bread," assures Stream. The children make necklaces from various seeds, learn about the claws from bear, eagle and other animals that were sometimes used on necklaces. They also used brown paper bags to make a fringed vest, dyed chicken feathers for a simple headdress, and also made colorful drums that hang around little necks for easy beating with both hands.
Close to Thanksgiving time the children are also taught about the Pilgrims who came to settle in America from across the big ocean on a little boat, the Mayflower, and how many people died on the way. They learn how the native people introduced the new settlers to new vegetables, and how excited the people all were for the wonderful harvest. They are told of the big feast that went on for three days and how the Indian friends were invited to join in the celebration, and how all this came to be Thanksgiving Day.
The children learned about pictographs and petroglyphs of our area then drew some of their own on a long paper that was displayed on the front of the school along with the name of the program, "Many Running Children."
Many songs were sung, with hand motions acting out each part. Many dancers moved around the "just my size" tepee beating on drums and watching "teacher" for what was next. After the program, there were many running parents, grandparents, and friends, gathering children, taking photos, and visiting and thanking Stream and her staff. The little brothers and sisters that had watched so patiently, had their turn to hide in the tepee, have their pictures taken, talk to the teacher, and become one of the many running children at last.
Some of the children were enjoying the warm autumn day so much, wanted to play together more and were reluctant to leave. But they were given an extra hug, and assured that after a few days school would begin again. The many vehicles filled up with families, photos and sweet memories, running away to leave the neighborhood as quiet as it had been just an hour before.
Children of the "Many Running Children" tribe are: Ashlynn Allred, Ashton Bell, Jaycee Birch, Kevin Butler, Chyanne Carter, Brooklin Ewell, Chaselee Ewell, Bayler Griffin, Hal Guymon, Jarica Huntington, Louie Ivie, Paytn Jeffs, Jackson Jensen, Shantz Jensen, Jaylyn Oliver, Kaitlyn Randall, Caden Riggle, Ethan Tuttle, Johnny Birch, Waylon Davis, Tristen Deabenderfer, Jasmine Frederick, Lance Hunsaker, Tai Justice, Ellie Kay, Bret Nielsen, Ridge Nielson, Nathan Potter, Taycee Tucker, Jozie Sherman, Kamrie Simmons, Jordan Sitterud, Draydon White, Ashlee Ungerman and Desiree Young.