Ronda WaltersMusic Teacher, Vancleave Lower Elementary School, Jackson County School District, Vancleave, MS
Her program involved nine classes of second graders at Vancleave Lower Elementary School in Vancleave, MS over two consecutive nights. The musical program made a dramatic finale for Vancleve’s first year of Positive Action lessons.
The students voted on the songs they wanted to use, and they wound up singing 17 of the 27 songs found on the Positive Action music CD. Because the songs use a variety of styles and rhythms, the students were able to perform routines ranging from country and western to break dancing.
Ms. Walters said the opportunity to perform the songs reinforced the messages of Positive Action lessons they learned throughout the year. The program was used not only in music classes, but in art and physical education classes, as well.
“When we were talking about what we should do for the song ‘The Treasure’, we discussed having all the girls dress up in fancy dresses,” Walters said. “Then some of the girls said they would never wear a dress, some said they didn’t even own a dress. Then we talked about how the song is about the treasure of who we really are on the inside. The girls understood that it didn’t matter what they wore, as long as they were true to who they were. It was a powerful moment.”
Ms. Walters said the performance on the first night went perfectly. The second night, however, was hilariously chaotic but ended with the students proud and the parents delighted.