Why are these students holding up two fingers?
Because they know that those are the two fingers used to teach a newborn calf to drink from a pail.
On Tuesday, November 23, 2010, Nancy and I rise at 4:00 AM so we can depart by 5:00 AM on the three-hour trek to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Elementary in Brooten, MN. We arrive early, meet the principal, Mr. Gossen, and set up in the media center to prepare to perform six half-hour shows, the first one beginning at 9:30 AM. Total number of kids should exceed 425.
The first two shows are mixed 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and I do A Farm Country Thanksgiving for each group of 75 students. The audience is lively and it's fun.
I need to shift gears for the next three groups of about 60 students each as I perform my story If I Were a Farmer:Nancy's Adventure. The pre-school group is first, the kindergarten group is second, and the first grade is third.
I really appreciate that the principal, Mr. Gossen, grouped the kids so I can address my show to a specific age-group. I keep the show for pre-schoolers to about 20 minutes but the first graders and kindergartners can easily handle some extra material that makes the show another 5-10 minutes long.
All of them like the bit where I explain how to teach a newborn calf how to drink out of a pail. When we get to the part where little Nancy, the character from the book, feeds the newborn calf, the kids remember what to do.
Several classes that were in the larger group pose for a group pictures after the show.
The last group consist of 95 second and third graders and I get to do A Farm Country Christmas Eve, which is a story that is very close to what actually happened to me on a Christmas Eve long ago. It's a great story with which to end the day because it never fails to draw the kids into the magic of Santa and Christmas Eve.
I begin the 35-minute presentation of A Farm Country Christmas Eve
Are they wondering, "Will Jimmy get the sled he asked Santa for?"
The day at BBE Elementary proved to be fun-filled and a total delight. Staff members were all friendly and the kids were wonderful. It's easy to see that the kids like the place, and that's a sure sign that the all staff members treat them with respect and love.
We hope to return soon.
Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson