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The Harbor History Museum is pleased to announce that the Midway Pioneer School Experience program has received the Award of Project Excellence from the Washington Museum Association (WMA). The award will be presented June 13 at the WMA annual conference.


The Pioneer School Experience provides the opportunity for third and fourth grade students to relive the early days of rural education, dating back to 1901.  Students read from McGuffey Readers, write on slates, recite daily “memory gems,” sing period-correct songs, and perform spelling exercises and arithmetic problems similar to those of the early 20th century schools. Educator-led activities include exploration of the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibit galleries plus history-based artifact guessing games. An exceptional curriculum has been developed to help make the visit to the Harbor History Museum fun, educational, and truly memorable.


Since the program’s first schoolmarm rang the bell in November, 2010, the Pioneer School Experience has welcomed more than 2,500 students from around the Kitsap Peninsula. Performed in period attire with period correct materials, the program is a great form of entertainment as well as an opportunity for immersive learning. With a target age of fourth grade, the curriculum meets some of Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) in History, Social Studies, and Communication.


“The Midway Pioneer School is a rich learning experience we are thrilled to be able to share with our students.” Stacy Bigger, Discovery Elementary School, Gig Harbor


“…the best field trip we have experienced in our thirty years of teaching!” Barbara St. John, Woodlands Elementary School, Bremerton


“My students had the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a pioneer student and this was the only fieldtrip that I have ever been on where there was 100% student engagement.” Rhonda Haug, Voyager Elementary School, Gig Harbor   


The Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society, dba Harbor History Museum, was founded in 1963, and opened a museum in 1973. Our mission is to create opportunities to experience the heritage of the greater Gig Harbor communities. We do this by collecting, preserving, and sharing this area’s history. Visit for program and exhibit information.


Contact:          Victoria Blackwell

                    253-858-6722, ext. 5