A new trail connecting two Jenks schools will offer students a history lesson from before Oklahoma was even a state.
Jenks East Elementary and Jenks East Intermediate will now have a new outdoor learning trail that not only connects the students to each other, but also to the nature and rich history of Rentie Grove.
The new trail will serve as an outdoor classroom where students can do schoolwork while staying socially distanced.
The location holds more significance than the kids realize yet. The schools are situated on the original townsite of Rentie Grove, a thriving African American community that was established before Oklahoma was even a state.
Jenks East Elementary Principal Ryan Glaze said he hopes the trail can be a way for students to learn some history and science at the same time.
"Observe the elements of nature and talk about the historical significance of the black town that used to be here in Rentie Grove,” Glaze said. “And, be able to teach those stories to our students and be aware of the context of where they are and share those with their own families.”
The trail will also allow students from both schools to socialize more with each other, something that Jenks East Intermediate principal Catrina Thomas said will help the Elementary kids handle the transition to Fifth and Sixth grade much easier.
"By having them come over all the time and this just being an extension of their campus, they're already going to be used to it," Thomas said.