EDUCATION

Duplessis Primary students put on Christmas show

Charlotte Guedry
Angela Solar and Rhaegan Alesich get ready to wow the crowds with their singing.

With Christmas just around the corner, stores are packed with last minute shoppers, moms and dads are wrapping last minute gifts, even ol' St Nick is getting in on the action by taking his list, and checking it twice. With all the rush, it's easy to forget the peace and the joy of the season.

The students at Duplessis Primary School, though, have found a way to remember.

Staff and students at the school found an interesting way to integrate the holiday season into the school's curriculum by way of a Christmas Carol Concert. By using a few weeks of art and music classes as rehearsal time, students prepared for the concert, while learning curriculum based skills at the same time.

"We approached the teachers and asked what they would like to do to celebrate the holidays with their classes. Everyone felt it was a wonderful idea to take the learning of carols, and turn that into lessons, as part of the curriculum for art and music," said Duplessis Primary School Principal, Dr. Twana Hilton-Pitre.

The children worked during lesson times to master the memorization of some of the best classic Christmas carols.

"It was fun to learn the songs. Some of them are hard, but I had fun," said first-grader Dominique Holladay. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town was an easy one, but Rudolph was a little hard. I learned it, though."

Students even gave up their spare time to make sure the songs sounded just right.

"I've been singing so much at home. I sing all the time," said Rhaegan Alesich, in the Kindergarten class. "I sing Jingle Bells a lot, but my favorite song is Rudolph."

Danae Smiley, a first grader, agrees. "It's been fun to sing at home and at school. I like Must be Santa, and I sing it a lot.  I practiced a lot, and it was fun to sing to people today."

This is the first year that the school incorporated the holiday season into lesson planning and curriculum based learning, and the staff feel that the idea has been a resounding success.

"As this was the first year, we didn't know quite what to expect. It's been wonderful, though. It's a fantastic idea to incorporate actual lessons into the holiday season," said Pre-K Para-professional, Shanna Veal.

As the children took their places and prepared to sing, it was plain to see that the hard work had paid off. Every single child smiled and beamed, as they took what they learned, and entertained friends and families.

Children singing carols is a familiar sight at Christmastime. It makes us all feel that little bit cheerier. "This is what it's all about, the spirit side. The true spirit of Christmas," said Assistant Principal, Laurent Thomas.

In that spirit of Christmas, let's all try to remember the words of kindergartener Angela Solar. "I love to sing, and I just want everyone happy at Christmas."

Shanna Veal and the Pre-K class get ready for some caroling.