Cultural ArtS & ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS

What do symphony orchestras, STEAM museum and a NASA astronaut have in common? They are all part of cultural arts and enrichment programs that we offer in our school. Through Cultural Arts & Enrichment Programs, the PTA strives to bring a diverse offering of performing arts and educational enrichment to our school usually in the form of school assemblies. These PTA sponsored programs include the musical and dramatic arts; math, science and technology; global and domestic history and culture, physical education; language arts and appreciation of diversity.

 

The Jefferson School PTA fundraising efforts support the school by directly funding these assemblies and artists in residence, immersing students in a wide variety of arts and cultural experience, from extravagant, days-long celebrations featuring professional performances to art projects.

 

Interested in donating or getting involved? You can reach out to our VP of Cultural Arts, Laura Epstein & Jackie Spoerel at culturalarts@jefferson-pta.org.

 


This year’s theme is about "Global Citizenship | Preparing today's students to be tomorrow's global citizens." 

 

cultural arts PROGRAM | SY 2018-2019

 

  

 

Mexico Beyond Mariachi | October

Our Jefferson School students had an awesome Hispanic Heritage Celebration in tandem with the inaugural of !HolaFest! NJ. Through live music, dance, and storytelling, Mexico Beyond Mariachi came to Jefferson School to share the magical realism that is ever present in Mexican culture, igniting the students' imagination, leaving them with an enhanced awareness of our global community. To learn more about their program, click here

 

 

  

 

Slapstick Science | November

Can you name 10 sources of Potential Energy? Which are Chemical, and which are Physical? We're bringing the all-time favorite science assembly with Ted Lawrence and his alter ego, Dr. Quenton Quark with Slapstick Science. Hoisting 200 pounds (like teachers) over their heads, lifting 1000 pounds of classmates, or throwing the portly Dr. Quark eight feet high is simply a matter of understanding kinetic energy, potential energy, friction, and simple machines like pulleys, levers, and screws are demonstrated.

 

Born to teach, Ted was certified to teach chemistry, physics, and math after majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Vermont. He graduated from the Ringling Clown College in '86, toured with the circus for two years. With Slapstick Science, he combined both!

 

 

 

 

Story Pirates | January

Story Pirates is coming to Jefferson in the beginning of the year. A nationally respected education and media organization that turns kids' original stories into wild sketch comedy musicals featuring professional actors, they will show our students just how amazing their ideas are!

 

Story Pirates believes that every child has a story to tell.  Whether it's a world where cats can fly or a rock opera about fuzzy alien tickle monsters, this sketch comedy musical is based entirely on stories by our very own elementary schoolers!  

 

 

 

Mayhem Poets

"Let's go see a poetry show." That is a sentence rarely proclaimed and usually responded to with cringes and excuses. The Mayhem Poets are on a mission to change that. Having been dubbed "an amazing ride" by the New York Times, this mind boggling performance has been described as "The Simpsons meets Malcolm X at a Notorious B.I.G. concert". These theater-trained, comedically-gifted, lyrical virtuosos seamlessly blend raw elements of hip hop, theater, improv and stand-up comedy to tell gut-wrenching truths that leave audiences forever changed. To learn more about Mayhem Poets, click here.

 

 

 

Pixie Dust Players' Hundred Dresses

Based on the beloved Newbery Honor Book by Eleanor Estes, this acclaimed musical adaptation masterfully handles such topics as bullying, friendship and forgiveness. Packed with humor and filled with colorful characters and memorable songs such as "Bright Blue Day," "Penny Paddywhack" and "Never Do Nothing," 

 

The Hundred Dresses by Pixie Dust Players is a timeless tale that explores the bonds of friendship, the willingness to be yourself and the courage that it takes to stand up to others—even when you're standing alone.

 

 

cultural arts PROGRAM | SY 2017-2018

 

 

Totally Vocally A Capella Performance
Ball in the House has been dedicated to educating students about music and singing. The group did instructional demonstrations with our Jefferson students, and helped students discover the history of a cappella singing from chant to doo wop. The elements of teamwork and collaboration are equally highlighted as students explore how various vocal parts create harmony and beats, working in unison to produce a multi-dimensional piece of music. The group remains committed to being good stewards of respect, positivity, and teamwork through fun a cappella music.

 

 

Astronaut Don Thomas
Don Thomas is an astronaut, scientist, professional speaker, educator, and author of Orbit of Discovery about his STS-70 mission aboard space shuttle Discovery. A veteran of four flights, Don has spent 44 days in space and orbited the Earth nearly 700 times. Recently, Don came to Jefferson School to inform and excite our students about our future in space and preparing our next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers for their missions in the future.

 

 

 

Rochel Garner Coleman's Homage to the Negro Baseball League

Shadow Ball pays homage to the men who played in Negro League baseball and paints a picture of America’s suffering during the Great Depression. Rochel Garner Coleman plays Cool Papa Bell, one of the League’s most famous players. A sterling fielder and an outstanding batter (regularly averaging over .400), Bell was legendary for his uncanny speed. Satchel Paige often regaled audiences with the story that when he and Bell roomed together, Bell was so fast that he could turn out the light and be in bed before the room got dark. Off the field though, an entirely different story emerged as black players encountered second-class status and mass economic hardship.

 

 

Dances of India by AATMA Performing Arts | 4th Grade Artist Residency

This workshop on Dances of India by AATMA Performing Arts allowed Jefferson School's 4th Grade  students to establish a foundation for the evolution of Indian dance. The students got a well-rounded education in Indian culture through dance, and explore of the evolution of Indian dance, from its rural roots to modern Bollywood cinema. They did a choreography after a one week course and culminated in a routine that our 4th Grade students' performed.

 

 

Guerilla Haiku | 3rd Grade Artist Residency

Actor and Educator, Caley Vickerman of Guerilla Haiku Movement came to Jefferson School to work with our 3rd Graders on using "haiku" a form of Japanese poetry as a method of expression; simple, precise and immeasurably powerful. Haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world. The students grabbed buckets of sidewalk chalk, and go on a wild haiku adventure.

 

 

Aviation Day

The Jefferson Students got to go on a high flying adventure with Hobby Quest’s Airplanes. They started their journey by going back in history and building the Boeing P-26, a super realistic model using a rubber band powered engine and depicting the first American all-metal production fighter used by the United States Army Air Corps in 1932. Next, the students created the Avatar with today’s technology by building this lightweight, yet durable, free flight electric plane. The Avatar is on a quest to discover the world, and the students along for the ride! Then, they built a Batman, this masked hero’s super cool helicopter will take him to new heights to help complete his quest. The students learned all about different types of planes, fun flight facts, and even learn about Bernoulli’s Principle!

 

 

PTA fundraising efforts support the school's budget by directly funding educational materials, additional curriculum tools, school events, and other enhancements that make Jefferson School special. 

Interested in donating or getting involved? You can reach out to culturalarts@jefferson-pta.org.

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