Valley Days and Pioneer School Day are the Museum’s award-winning living history educational programs for San Joaquin county third, fourth, and fifth graders. The calendars for both programs are set every September for the whole school year and the programs run from late September to May.
San Joaquin county teachers and Museum docents developed the Valley Days program in 1983. The goal of the program is to give school children an opportunity to understand the life style of the middle to late 1800s. We also want children to have a sense of responsibility toward our heritage, the Museum, and the artifacts we preserve. By participating in different Valley Days activity centers—participating in chores such as butter making, rope making, blacksmithing, and crafts such as cornhusk doll making or tin punching—the children experience a taste of life as a pioneer child.
The program includes training for teachers and volunteers. School teachers need to submit an application each year by June 30th to assure themselves a spot on the next year’s calendar. The fee is $100 per class of 20-30 students.
Pioneer School Days is a living history education program in which students spend an entire day in a school environment very similar to that of rural children who attended a one-room school in 1884. Class is held in the historic Calaveras School (1866). As much as practicable, the experience is kept authentic to the period.
The fee for the Pioneer School Day is $100 per class of 30 students. Applications must be submitted by July 31 to Marie Medford, Pioneer School committee lead, to obtain a spot on the Pioneer School calendar.
A docent-led school tour may be arranged through the Museum’s education department. Docents may lead up to a maximum of 60 students through the exhibits at the Museum. To book a school tour, call the Museum’s education department at Lodi number (209) 331-2055 or Stockton number (209) 953-3460, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
General School Tour
The general tour typically includes the full range of the Museum’s exhibits. Most tours last approximately one hour. The fee for the tour is $2.00 per child (6-12 yrs) and $5.00 per adult/chaperon that accompany the students. We require one chaperon for every 10 children. For an additional fee of $4.00 per student, gold panning may be added to the tour.
Native American Tour
This is an hour long tour with three stations: a 24 minute film, hands-on tool use and lessons, and a lesson on Indian plant use in the Children’s Gallery. Suitable for fourth grade and higher. Cost $2.00/child and $5.00/adult.
From Farm to Fork
This interactive exhibit is the newest addition to our education programs and tours, created specifically for children ages 5 to 8. It teaches children in a simple way the economics of farming. The children will actually take a loan out from the "bank", buy seeds with that money, plant their seeds in real soil, harvest their produce, sell the produce at market, pay-off the loan, and purchase something with the profits. This exhibit is available for only 3 months (March to May). The fee is $2.00 per child, adult/chaperones are free.
Artifacts from the museum collections—brought to your classroom in a small wicker trunk—are selected to tell a story about life in the West, mainly before the turn-of-the-century…before electricity, cars, and radios. A Museum docent (volunteer educator) will bring the trunk to your site and develop her own story to go along with the items in the trunk. She might, for example, demonstrate woman’s tasks throughout the week from washing on Monday to church on Sunday, showing the clothing, tools and equipment, and personal items along the way. The fee for the Grandmother’s Trunk is $35.00 per presentation, which takes approximately 50 minutes. A maximum of 40 students are allowed per presentation.