Heritage ed. in Fruitvale

Fri 5/2

It’s hard to imagine that Peralta Hacienda Historical Park (2465 34th Ave., Oakland), in the heart of the Fruitvale district, was once just a smidgen of the vast 45,000-acre Rancho San Antonio, reputed to be the most valuable Spanish land grant ever made in California. Traces of adobes stand near an 1870 Italianate frame house, recently restored, on six acres of history which represents the convergence between the Spanish-speaking, land-owning Peralta family and the Mexicans and Native Americans who labored and lived there. To encourage Oaklanders to delve deeper into their multicultural heritage, Friends of Peralta Hacienda State Park have started “The Land Is Our Gold,” a free, after-school drop-in program on Friday afternoons with a wide range of arts projects for school-age children. For this week’s event, “Telling Our Stories,” kids are invited to create scroll books that commemorate their family histories and personal stories. “We’re going to talk about the role of storytelling in the past and the present,” explains Noelle Cole, the series’ arts director, “how it was a vital means of communicating information before television and computers, and how we still continue to communicate history and values through storytelling.” The following week, children will make family quilts. “Art is a fabulously effective way to communicate other topics,” she says. “This series focuses on the many cultures that have settled here, and how our community has evolved.” The event runs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Call 510-532-9142. — Sarah Cahill

Tue 5/6

Little House in the Valley

If you have any Huck Finn or Laura Ingalls Wilder fans among your brood, or if you live in the San Ramon Valley School district, then chances are you already know about the Tassajara One-Room School (1650 Finley Road in the Tassajara Valley). Third-grade students have a chance to dress in period garb (including straw hats and bonnets), use slates, play 19th-century games, learn to cipher, and recite from a McGuffey Reader, just as their ancestors did in 1888, when the Tassajara Grammar School, along with its outbuildings, began to serve students. Former teacher Joan Kurtz designed and runs the program, which goes through June 11. Call the Museum of the San Ramon Valley at 925-837-3750, or visit www.museumsrv.org for more info. — Stefanie Kalem

Sun 5/4

Spring Fling

Celebrate the meaning of May Day from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center. That’s the post-Victorian (when all the naughty stuff got excised), pre-Labor Movement (when workers won an eight-hour workday) May Day, of course — the springtime festival of renewal and innocence. On the eve of the holiday, the center invites children to dance around a maypole, make May Day baskets, and learn about the history and current significance of the holiday while strolling alongside marsh channels. The event is free, and the center is located at 4901 Breakwater Ave. Call 510-670-7270 for further details. — Stefanie Kalem

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