Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Three-Day Residency and LEAF Performance with Ugandan Performing Artist Kinobe

Fifth graders experienced another amazing residency through LEAF in Streets and Schools this year, with Ugandan performing artist Kinobe (Chi-NO-bay). 

Kinobe is a gifted multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and philanthropist who synthesizes African roots and global fusion. He has given concerts all over the world—and his residency culminated in a concert with the fifth graders here at Claxton!

During the three-day interactive residency, students learned Ugandan storytelling, dance, drumming, singing, and kalimba.

And, of course, they performed at LEAF!

Read about Kinobe's work with the Harmony Foundation to improve the lives of children and their families around the world at

Many thanks to LEAF in Schools and Streets for making this residency possible!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Premiere of Claxton's Own Tom Godleski's Play, "The Crowin' Hen," This Weekend!

Anyone who's spent much time at Claxton is aware that we have an amazingly talented group of teachers and administrators—and not just talented at education!

Chief among them, is Tom Godleski, who currently works as an instructional assistant in the first grade. He's also a musician, an artist, and a playwright. This weekend, he will premiere his newest play, "The Crowin' Hen," and will appear as a cast member, along with Claxton parent Jenny Bunn and other area actors. Mr. Godleski won the 2009 Southern Appalacian Repertory Theatre's Scriptfest Playwright Competition for his play "Fresh Preserves." He is also a member of Buncombe Turnpike, which performs across the southeast and is a favorite at the Southern Highland Craft Guild events Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center and the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands.

“The Crowin’ Hen” blends storytelling and music with mountain traditions of home, family, and community. Set in western North Carolina, the characters come to life through authentic dialogue, sense of place, and multi-generational relationships. Live music from the bluegrass band Buncombe Turnpike is woven into the performance and compliments the story. 

"The Crowin' Hen" will be performed in the Folk Art Center auditorium on Friday, May 29th at 7:30; Saturday, May 30th at 2:30 and 7:30; and Sunday May 31 at 2:30. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students. 

What a great way to let your Claxton kids discover the joys of writing and performing—by seeing one of their favorite teachers on stage! 

Please support Mr. Godleski and the arts by making reserving your tickets here. For directions to the Folk Art Center and more information about it, visit its website or call 828-298-7928.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Poet Meggen Lyon Spends a Six-Week Residency with Mr. Williams' Class

All of Claxton's second graders have just completed a poetry unit and wowed their parents with poetry readings. But Mr. Williams' class had an extra treat—a six-week residency and poetry workshop with Meggen Lyon, a local poet and member of Asheville Writers in the Schools.

During the residency, Ms. Lyon introduced the students several different types of poetry and gave them the opportunity to try their hands at each one. We heard excited chatter about acrostics, metaphor, imagery, and more.

Students chose and polished their favorite poem, and on the final day of the residency, Ms. Lyon gave them typed copies, for which they created their own frames.

The results were, in a word, stunning!

We are, as always, thankful to the Asheville City Schools Foundation for funding this residency through their TAPAS program. 

Our thanks, as well, to Ms. Lyon for sharing her time and talent, and for giving the students such confidence in their abilities and such a true appreciation of poetry. We hope to see more of her and Asheville Writers in the Schools in the future!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Claxton Students' Garden Container Contest Entries Featured in the Citizen-Times

Once again, Claxton has made an impressive showing in the Asheville Men's Garden Club annual container contest—and this year the Citizen-Times took note.

Students in the participating classes made presentations to the contest judges on Monday, with the Citizen-Times photographer on hand to record the event. They all showed off their knowledge of the life cycle of plants, much of it learned through the hands-on experience of planting and making creative containers.

Check out the Citizen-Times photo gallery here (scroll down to the "Photo Galleries" tab on the left).

And some other beautiful, creative planters that the Citizen-Times missed:

Come see them in person at the school entrance!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Claxton Artists' Work Displayed at ACS District-Wide Art Show

Claxton artists of all grades showed off a range of visual arts talents at the Asheville City Schools Art Show on Sunday, May 3, at the YMI Cultural Center.

From pen-and-ink to cut-outs to clay and beyond, beautiful pieces by students from kindergarten through fifth grade were displayed at the show, along with artwork by students at all ACS schools.

Congratulations to all our budding artists!

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Spring Production Is a Hit!

If your kid has been walking around singing, "Iambic pentameter! Gotta move to the right parameter!" chances are he or she saw Claxton's Spring 2015 production of Romeo and Harriet.  And that you're singing along.

Full of sparkling performances, Asheville locales, rousing song-and-dance numbers, and information about Shakespeare's plays that may have even taught the adults in the audience a thing or two, this spring's musical was an unqualified success.

Warring family stores, game show quizzes, and proper use of the word "wherefore" had audience members of all ages laughing and dancing along in their seats. We are so very proud of our performers.

The people who deserve thanks for their hard work on the production are so numerous we can't hope to mention them all by name—Cindy Baldwin and Brooks Butler, who spent countless hours working with the kids in rehearsal, musicians, a choreographer, costumes, sets, backstage help, programs ... it truly took a Claxton village. A celebration like this is a reminder of why we are so proud of our school and the Claxton community.

And we hear certain second graders are already planning their audition for next year!