Spokane Valley Emphasizes Fine Arts
Each year at Spokane Valley Adventist School students are involved in a variety of fine arts classes including art, choir and drama. To really appreciate this experience, the students participate in at least one musical drama each year. Each spring the second through fourth grade students perform a musical drama that goes along with their learning objectives in the classroom. In addition, the kindergarten through eighth grade students enjoy the opportunity to perform in the fall of the year.
“There are several reasons why we include drama and music in our curriculum,” says Julia Dewey, teacher for second through fourth grade and drama program leader. “Not only does it spark an interest in the topic they are presenting, it also promotes public speaking and encourages reclusive students to come out of their shells.”
Every Nov. 11 the SVAS students put on a special lunch and program for veterans in the community. Because of the drama’s focus on appreciation for heroes, the teachers felt it was very appropriate to share this dramatic presentation with our veteran friends on that day. After enjoying a delicious haystack lunch and root beer floats, the students put on an unforgettable performance for the veterans with an encore performance that evening for friends and family.
This year the focus of the drama was on American history, and the students enjoyed learning about some of the greatest Americans of the 20th century. Famous individuals the students learned about included the Wright Brothers, who flew the first airplane in 1903, and artists Georgia O’Keefe, who painted large flowers, and Andy Warhol, who painted with his canvas on the floor. They learned about the Roosevelts: Franklin, who created the New Deal during the Depression and led the country through World War II; Delano, who liked to swim in the Potomac; and Eleanor, who championed for the poor and women’s rights.
Did you know there was more than one Babe? Babe Ruth hit home runs, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias was the most versatile female athlete. She played many sports exceptionally well but was most famous for golf. The students enjoyed singing about Rosa Parks, the civil rights leader who refused to move to the back of the bus, and Henry Ford, who created the assembly line.
The choir, which includes all students, performed the music for the drama. In addition, most of the students had an acting role and enjoyed researching their particular person to help with costuming.
The students were excited as they prepared for and performed their musical and will be preparing another performance for next year.
“Children learn to work together and take pride in their accomplishments, and in the process they are having fun, which leads to retention of knowledge,” says Dewey. “This is something that they look forward to every year.”