Morenci school fine arts programs flourishing 11.10.2010

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 York...in 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.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.