To me, the best way to tell a story about what children are learning in school, and after school, is from the inside/out.
Unfortunately, the demands on my schedule do not always allow me the chance to see children and teens in action. But I’m almost always awed after such an experience.
Two weeks ago, I was invited to a Unified Theater rehearsal at Whisconier Middle School. I found it all delightful – even the burning smell of plastic coming from the library that brought out the Fire Department.
Unified Theater is a relatively new program at Whisconier, one organized and directed by paraprofessional Julie Oakley.
But Oakley is quick to say she and the other staff that coordinate this after-school performing arts program simply facilitate; all the work is student-driven. And these are students who might otherwise never stand in front of a microphone.
The whole concept behind Unified Theater is to allow students of all ability levels interact together, creating bonds that transcend labels and abilities.
I promise that when you watch these students, you will see an ability they all share: inspiration. Each and everyone is an inspiration of what can happen when people of different backgrounds, interests and talents work together for a universal goal.
So mark your calendars for 7 p.m. on March 28. Come and see these 35 students perform on their schools’ stage. My guess is you won’t be the same after watching their rendition of the popular tune, “Brave.”