Morenci school fine arts programs flourishing 11.10.2010

Written by David Green.


State education officials want to see collaboration between school and community, and Morenci’s fine arts programs are showing that very thing.

Music director Jamie DeVoe and art teacher Kym Ries told board of education members at the Nov. 1 meeting about collaborative efforts they’ve undertaken.

The arts programs are working individually and collaboratively to go beyond the classroom and meet certification goals.

DeVoe spoke about two field trips that gave students a broader cultural experience.

The high school band competed in a marching band festival in Grand Rapids which introduced members to a variety of larger marching band styles, including an Ohio school that competes at the national level.

Several art students also went to Grand Rapids to visit the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Exhibits included work by Dale Chihuly and Andy Goldsworthy, both of whom were studied last year by art students. Students also toured the Grand Rapids ArtPrize event which featured artists from around the world.

Locally, Ries spoke of the collaborative efforts between the school and Stair Public Library. The programs help the school meet the state goal of interaction with the families of students.

“The library does amazing things to enrich, reinforce and remediate the programs we do here at school,” she said.

Library director Colleen Leddy obtained a grant and Ries was awarded a grant to create a program scheduled Saturday called “Picturing New a tiny Midwest town.”

Artwork will be used to transform the library into a big city museum. Students have used urban themes in projects this fall for the program.

English teacher Heather Walker is using the New York-themed book, “The Great Gatsby,” and DeVoe’s music history class has studied the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.

Middle school teacher Sally Kruger played a role in bringing New York City author Ned Vizzini back to Morenci. With this visit, Vizzini will discuss how one of his books was made into a movie.

DeVoe is encouraging his students to attend the performance by the Paul Keller Trio that will present New York tunes.

“They’ll actually get to see in real life what we talk about in class,” he said.

The unit covers four of nine state standards—all of the non-performing standards—DeVoe said.

Ries said she and DeVoe are seeking a proclamation from the board that establishes a partnership between Stair Public Library and Morenci Area Schools. She said it would be helpful for meeting state standards and for seeking grants.

“Thank you for supporting the arts,” she said in conclusion.

Establishing a relationship with the library has been discussed at the committee level, said Superintendent of Schools Mike Osborn, and the board would be proud to do it.

“This is exactly the kind of thing we’re trying to encourage in classrooms,” he added.

  • Front.cowboy
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  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
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  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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