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Mission Possible


Presidio of San Francisco (June 15, 2009) — It is a right of passage for generations of California schoolchildren: transforming a box of sugar cubes, not to mention a few toothpicks, some Popsicle sticks and construction paper into a replica of a California mission.

Now a new exhibit at the Presidio showcases some of the most creative and unique works of these young historians. Presented in conjunction with Mission Dolores, Mission Possible: An Exhibit of California Mission Models Created by San Francisco 4th Graders opens Wednesday, June 17 at the Presidio’s Officers’ Club. The free exhibit runs through June 28.

“For the students, this project is a fun hands-on opportunity to rebuild history in a creative way,” says Katie Ahern, coordinator of education programs for the Presidio Trust’s Archaeology lab. “This exhibit is a chance for San Franciscans to celebrate the creativity of our students and reminisce about their own elementary school days.”

The Presidio Trust’s Archaeology program seeks to preserve and protect the park’s underground treasures and educate the public on the Presidio’s rich history. The archaeology lab is located in the Presidio Officers’ Club.

A new feature of the Pasados del Presidio event, the celebration of San Francisco’s birthday and the founding of the Presidio, Mission Possible features reconstructions and interpretations of mission churches by fourth graders from six San Francisco schools. This year, says Ahern, one teacher encouraged her students to use only recycled products to construct “green” missions. Using objects from their homes, students made bell towers out of broken Christmas ornaments and plastic Easter eggs; stacked old Legos and glued together a deck of cards to form adobe walls and tiled their roofs with pretzel sticks and black beans.

The contest also includes models of other structures from California’s Mission era, including Indian villages, pueblos and presidios. In all, more than 50 models and 30 mosaics will be on display in the Presidio Officers’ Club. Winners will be displayed as part of the exhibit and prizes will be awarded at the Pasados celebrations on June 26 at 1 pm.

Mission Possible: An Exhibit of California Mission Models Created by San Francisco 4th Graders runs from June 17-28, 2009 at the Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave., San Francisco. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am-5 pm. Admission is free. A series of events celebrating San Francisco’s birthday and the founding of the Presidio, Pasados del Presidio runs from Thursday, June 25 through Saturday, June 27.

The Presidio Trust was established by the United States Congress in 1996 to oversee the Presidio of San Francisco, an urban national park located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,500-acre site contains expansive open space and spectacular views, a 300-acre historic forest, and rare and endangered plants and wildlife. It also comprises nearly 6 million square feet of buildings, including 469 historic structures that contribute to its status as a National Historic Landmark District.

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Presidio Trust Media Relations

Lisa Petrie

(415) 264-7787