Butterflies and opening-night jitters didn’t seem to plague the Georgetown Community School students during dress rehearsal for Core Knowledge Night on April 19.
All the same, teacher Lacey Ruskin ran the students through some essential theater performance etiquette.
“ ‘Good luck’? We really don’t say that in the theater, because it is really bad luck,” Ruskin said. “When somebody says, ‘Break a leg,’ what it means is that you get so much applause that you get to curtsy and you bend your leg.”
The students then ran through a host of performances, including raps about nutrition and a song about muscles and bones, all part of the school’s annual open house, which is the charter school’s chance to show parents what their children have learned.
The event was also a science fair, art show and the kickoff of a school fund-raiser aimed at updating computers. The theme was “Stop, Look and Listen” as a representation of all the different things parents could do at the event.
Vice principal Rachel Wides said Core Knowledge Night was a success and drew more than 300 attendees. The event raised more than $600 toward technological improvements.
Robots on the walls
The “Look” part of the evening was the art show, which consisted of robots made from recycled computer and electronic parts.
“The ‘Look’ part is the artwork, the robots,” said Tiffinny Branson, a parent volunteer and event organizer. “We want people to go in and really look at what the kids have done because they had a ball putting those together.”
While students were practicing their musical numbers in the building next door, Branson and art teacher Sam Braakman organized the colorful pieces.
Around them was a room full of square robots mounted on posters. The silver robots carried an assortment of remote controls and CDs that just happened to conjure the classic look of Robby the Robot.
Braakman, a first-year teacher, said he came up with the robot theme because it seemed like fun, and using recycled components fit in well with Earth Day.
“It turned out better than I expected,” Braakman said.
Branson said she was inspired to organize the event this year in part because of the art-show component.
“I’m an artist, and I really like to see the kids display art and get involved in hands-on art,” Branson said. “When we decided to bring art into it, that’s when I decided I really wanted to step in.”
Wides said the school desperately needs to upgrade its computers, which were purchased six years ago when the charter school opened.
Wides said teachers and students have adapted well to using older equipment, but the time for an upgrade has come. The school will create a technology committee and work on an improvement plan, money raised from the open house will help.
“I think it is just so obvious from these (open house) performances and from our test scores what they’ve been able to learn despite these technological handicaps,” Wides said. “But we want to offer the kids and the teachers the next step, which is basic technology.”
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