PJK Final Showcase

"Let's Make A Change!"

Posted 22 April 2016 12:00 AM by Lynn Mullin

What a fantastic group of students! The Patrick J. Kennedy school 5th graders performed their piece yesterday, closing out four years with this same group of students, and marking their last year of elementary school.

The students assessed their values and interests to split into five groups, each based on a particular human rights-related theme. Each chose a topic to focus on, and built a scene that explored the problem and a possible intervention. Throughout the process, these topics were refined to: the Wall at the US-Mexico border, deportation, name-calling, deforestation, and homelessness. The students handled these difficult topics with maturity and respect, and worked diligently to share their perspective in a kind and thoughtful manner.

Everything was tied together with music from the Wizard of Oz, which the students had the pleasure of seeing at the Wang Theatre the night before their performance. Some of the lyrics were changed, but we maintained the idea of using one’s heart, brain, and courage to achieve the world that you dream of (“once in a lullaby…”). Add some student choreography, and hard facts about the issues, and our show was ready to go!

PJK has been wonderfully supportive of our work, so despite the fact that our Target Arts rehearsal time was limited, the classroom teacher and administrators put a lot of extra time and energy into making sure the performance was ready for the stage.

The show was attended by several other classes from PJK, as well as parents and family of students. As an audience member mentioned after the performance, we know it was successful for two reasons: 1) The 5th graders were extremely proud of their work; and, 2) The other classes who were in the audience, when asked what the show was about and what they liked, easily engaged with the content. That, in my mind, is the core of success.

Bravo, PJK 5th graders!

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