Sure, it was an opportunity to sell books, but the day provided Nancy and me with so much more.
Our location was handy because we set up near the door of the gym, where the art show was displayed and the musical would be performed. But more than that, our location provided us with a window into the rhythm of the school.
Mrs. Odegard had us set up our table at a busy intersection in the school, and as classes of students moved from their regular rooms to the art classroom or to lunch, the students often lined up near our table and stopped to talk, many of them remembering our visit on May 7th when I did shows for K-2. "Aren't you the Farmer who was here before?" students asked.
On more than one occasion, we watched a student stop for a moment to play farm or rearrange the layout.
We decided to attend the musical performance of both the morning kindergarten and the afternoon kindergarten, starting at 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM, respectively.
After brief introductions of scenes and songs by individuals, students stood in place to sing group numbers while other students came down stage to demonstrate the activity in the song.
One of the first numbers entitled "Planting Seeds"featured a couple planters (above) demonstrating the activity while students sang the refrain, which included a phrase that rings true to most of us who are from the farm, "...and the work is never done!"
Of course every number was a hit for the audience of parents, grandparents and friends, but hey, Nancy and I were objective viewers and we were enthralled with the fun of it all.
In the picture above, three boys "wormed" their way across the stage during the "Worms." song.
Before, after, and between shows customers and students of all ages stopped to look at our books, make their purchases, and tell us their farm stories.
After each show, students took their relatives around to show them where their art was hung. Above, a young man shows Nancy his creation.
More artwork pictures below:
Time for pictures.
For me, the day brought back many fond memories of when I directed high-school plays and musicals. Consequently, I do not underestimate all the work and time required by staff and students to prepare these two half-hour performances.
But I know the rewards are great. We saw kids of all backgrounds working together, singing together, learning together, expressing themselves together, and having fun together.
The songs about the farm revealed natural elements ranging from seeds growing, worms in the soil, growing of flowers, and work on the farm. Kids will remember this, too! Songs stick in their minds. We heard kindergarten children singing the words in the hallway as they walked by our table.
After the show, Mrs. Odegard read a long list of credits and "thank yous." I know that for any large program to work, it takes a lot of cooperation from everyone at the school and a deep commitment from a few to make it work. I congratulate everyone involved, especially Mrs. Odegard and Mrs. Trekell, who were the Producers and Art Directors; Mrs. Odegard's and Mrs. Trekell's Kindergarten classes, who performed the show; Musical Director Mrs. Wood; Science/Poem Director Mrs. Rau; Art Co-Director Mrs. Shriver; and Interpreter Mrs. Toay.
For Nancy and me, it was a super-fun day, and we felt really privileged to witness the event as audience members and as hallway observers.
As a parting note, I ask you to support teachers in their efforts. They are doing a great job.