Thursday, December 17, 2015

Claxton Fourth Graders Use the Arts to Help Seniors in Need

For the fourth year in a row, Claxton's fourth graders learned about community support and public service by putting their art skills to work.

Under the guidance of Mr. Cassara, Claxton's Art Specialist, the students decorated about 80 bags that were placed at CitiStops around the city for collecting cash and food donations for Meals on Wheels' Santa for Seniors program. The donations will be delivered to nursing homes and assisted living facilities—as will the lovely bags.

In a thank you letter to the students, CitiStop noted that "the bags turned out even better than we could have hoped. We know the seniors will love the bags as much as we did." Between Claxton and one other elementary school, 223 gift bags were delivered to Meals on Wheels clients. As CitiStop said, our students "helped bring joy to many people this holiday season."

Thank you to Mr. Cassara for giving our students the opportunity to do such meaningful giving!

Friday, December 11, 2015

It's the Ninth Annual Claxton Storytelling Festival!

One of our favorite traditions, one that distinguishes Claxton as a special place, is the annual Storytelling Festival. For an entire school day, all the learning takes place in storytelling settings, with students taking a break from their usual routine to hear about different cultures, ideas, and, yes, stories, from professionals, faculty members, and their own peers.

This year's Storytelling Festival, the ninth one Claxton has held, featured an exciting array of performers. The reviews are in, and the students LOVED it!

Madafo Lloyd Wilson practices the art of African storytelling, incorporating the works of Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Kahlil Gibran, and others. He uses music, poetry, and folk stories to draw people together. 

Sheila Kay Adams reflects another important part of WNC culture as seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and claw-hammer banjo player. A native of Madison County, she has worked to preserve the local tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing and appeared at storytelling festivals around the world.

Other professionals who shared their talents and traditions with Claxton students are: Scottie McCall, The Reverend Alfred Blount, Leon Stewart, Kathy Gordon, Micah McKenzie, and Jason Krekel.

And the Storytelling Festival wouldn't be the same without our own local talent! Mr. Godleski, Mr. Butler, Ms. Rigsby, Ms. Eggett, and Ms. Henderson, joined by Don Heartstrong, all performed. We even tempted Dr. McCallister to take a break from his work as Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services for Asheville City Schools to come tell some stories.

We're particularly proud of our Claxton student storytellers, who have been working with Mr. Godleski in After School Arts and got to show off their skills! Kudos to Isabel Bishop, Jack Callihan, Edgar Danko, Annabelle Esmond, Walker Godfrey, Alayna Gulley, Ellie Sieburg, Bella Thomas, and Sophie Thomas! We are so proud of you!

We are also very lucky to have Tom Godleski using his amazing talents and connections to pull the Storytelling Festival together, and many other wonderful faculty members working hard to pull it off. An ENTIRE DAY of storytelling! Our students are so excited and motivated!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Get Ready for the Winter Concert!

One of our favorite events of the season, the Claxton Winter Concert, is coming up on December 17.

The format has changed this year. ALL 1st through 5th grade students have been invited to perform. The Morning Music groups will have a separate performance after Winter Break.

There's no question that performing for an audience is an important skill, and one that contributes to our students' academic success. It inspires self-confidence, self-control, and pride in an important accomplishment. And rehearsing for the performance helps students develop the skills that support not only their musical abilities, but their math abilities as 

Please come support your Claxton student by planning on attending the Winter Concert! And stay for cookies and punch provided by the Claxton PTO after the show!