CULTURAL ARTS — The Tewksbury Education Foundation (TEF) kept Tewksbury Schools students busy in February with many diverse in-classroom residencies and assemblies including a three-day artist-in-residence program from January 31to February 2 for the seventh grade at Old Turnpike School (OTS) with veteran Broadway actor Bill Bowers. Bowers, whose credits include “The Lion King” and “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” lead students through lessons in gesture – “the earliest form of storytelling” — using a variety of mime and theatrical techniques to bring literature to life.
“It’s great to use things besides your brain to think,” said Bowers. “I like to get them out of their seats and moving to tell a story. I call it ‘physical imagination.’”
New York artist Jennifer Sirey joined OTS 6th grade math classes to demonstrate the beauty of math on February 7 and 9 by teaching students how to apply abstract mathematical concepts and formulae to create intricate and colorful artwork.
“It [was] a good hands on approach to teach a lot of geometrical concepts in a short period of time that’s fun and engaging for the students,” said OTS 6th grade math teacher Jodi DenBleyker.
OTS 5th graders participated in a three-day in-classroom literary residency conducted by the respected organization, The Write Stuff, from February 20 through 22.
And, The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey performed the play “Macbeth” for the 5th through 8th grades in an OTS school-wide assembly on February 17.
TEACHER MINI GRANTS —Tewksbury Elementary School (TES) 4th grade teacher Gail Grube organized a day of “Gym Geography” – where the floor of the school’s gymnasium was transformed into a giant-sized map of the United States – for the school’s 3rd and 4th grades, and the 5th grade at OTS through a TEF Teacher Mini Grant on February 9.
UPCOMING — The TEF has scheduled a number of exciting residencies and assemblies for Tewksbury Schools in March. Folk music and storytelling artist-in-resident Mary Amidon will spend March 5-8 with the kindergarten. Mary’s husband, Peter Amidon, will conduct a grade-appropriate folk music and storytelling program concurrently with the 2nd grade. And, McCarter Theatre of Princeton will return to TES for a 4th grade assembly performance of the play “Sunjata” on March 13, and conduct a multi-day in-classroom residency from March 14 through 16 for that grade.
SAVE THE DATE for the 17th Annual TEF Barn Dance & Auction. The event, which will have the theme of “A Taste of Tewksbury,” will take place on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the LifeCamp in Pottersville. For information, to donate, to volunteer or for tickets, please call (917) 991-7352, visit www.tewksburytef.org or find us on FACEBOOK.