Waynesboro Summer Enrichment Academy Success
WAYNESBORO – Azael Chaparro was busy creating his tale of Jack on Monday afternoon in a classroom at Berkeley Glenn Elementary School. The 10-year-old was in a storytelling class, which was part of the Waynesboro Public Schools Summer Enrichment Academy.
Barb Lawson, who teaches the storytelling class, explained that Jack’s tales include a character named – surprise, surprise – Jack, who can be smart or brave or ignorant or lazy. The tales originated in England and so many times Jack’s tales involve a castle, but since many people have crossed the ocean, they brought the stories with them.
“All of Jack’s stories here, pretty much all of them, are in the Appalachians,” Lawson said. “Since we don’t have castles here, people have adapted their stories. So there are the houses of the rich… they use things that are meaningful to the people here.”
Jack Chaparro was brave. The student explained that Jack met Mickey Mouse and Elmo and the three went on an adventure, only to find a bear.
“They’re trying to find a place to hide, but they can’t because the bear has found them,” Chaparro said. “Then Jack got up and punched the bear.”
Jack’s famous tales include “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Jack the Giant Killer” and “This Is the House That Jack Built”. On Monday, a student asked Lawson if he could use Jack and Jill. Lawson said it was an idea, but suggested he tweak it a bit from the famous nursery rhyme.
“Maybe they didn’t come up the hill,” Lawson said. “Maybe they went somewhere else.”
Lawson taught a series of six different story types in the classroom, including Tell Me Why Fractured Stories and Fairy Tales. She begins each class by telling a story, then the students create their own.
“It boils down to, all stories have characters and they have a problem. The problem is solved and either it’s solved or they try to solve it. That’s what a story is,” Lawson said, a local actress who taught for 22 years. and now travels with the Virginia Commission for the Arts to tell stories.
The Summer Enrichment Academy kicked off June 7 in Waynesboro with 120 students at each site. For the first half of the elementary program, the students were at Wenonah and William Perry. The half s, which ends this week, has students at Berkeley Glenn and Westwood Hills. Kate Collins Middle School is also a section of the Enrichment Academy.
“The morning is more academic, although very focused on project-based learning, very active and interactive learning,” Superintendent Jeffrey Cassell said at a recent school board meeting.
In the afternoon, the school system partnered with the Waynesboro Family YMCA, which, along with the Wayne Theater and the Office on Youth, among others, offers a variety of activities like the storytelling class.
“Maybe it’s summer and these students can be in school, but it’s definitely not summer school,” YMCA executive director Jeff Fife told board members. ‘administration. “The energy and excitement that we saw in these kids, just walking the halls… I highly recommend going down and floating in and out of these classrooms. It’s so invigorating.”
Julia Bussey was giving an acting class on Monday. The first week she taught the basics of theater, including directing, then she taught improvisation and costumes, among other theatrical subjects.
“I’m a theater kid,” Bussey said. “These are life skills. It’s not just about playing games. It’s about learning how to interact with your friends, it’s about learning to work together in a group, it’s about learning how to world interacts around you. “
In addition to storytelling and drama, there were also art, music and dance classes throughout the Wayne. On Monday at Berkeley Glenn there were also bike safety and internet safety courses run by the Waynesboro Youth Office.
“It’s just a great opportunity for the kids to connect with each other and with material in a way that they normally can’t use,” said Lesley Larsen of the Wayne Theater. “It’s a great opportunity to introduce some of these kids to a new way of expressing themselves. And after 16 months of COVID, they have a lot to express.”
Patrick Hite is The News Leader education and sports reporter. Story ideas and advice are always welcome. Contact Patrick (he / his) at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Patrick_Hite. Ssubscribe to newsleader.com.