Ladysmith kids swingin’ around the jukebox

Ladysmith schools explore all kinds of ways to channel pre-holiday energy

Gary Allan and his wolf-dog Tundra. (Sandra Allan photo)

Mike Youds Special to the Chronicle

Ladysmith intermediate students will be rocking around the Christmas tree, performing ‘Holly Jolly Jukebox’ — a new musical production — before the school community.

The Christmas concert, on Thursday, Dec. 20 (1 p.m. dress rehearsal, 7 p.m. show), is one of a busy calendar of special events and activities at local schools leading up to the holidays.

‘Holly Jolly Jukebox’ isn’t the old, familiar Christmas pop standards. All six songs in the show, published just last year, are originals written in the styles of swing, doo wop, surf music and disco. The idea is to show that all musical forms from the 1940s through the ’70s can be fun.

Students have been working hard on their parts and all will be in seasonal costume on show night. Each class has a musical tune as well as a choral selection.

Aside from the sound of music room rehearsals, the corridors have been abuzz with other activities. Gary Allan has been visiting the school with Tundra the wolf-dog, teaching kids Indigenous knowledge about wolves and community. They are recognized across the Island, making regular appearances at schools, clubs and public events with Allan’s educational message of conservation. Each class will have a chance to visit with the pair. Some other highlights before the holidays:

Grade 7 students were building planter boxes last week when the Career Technical Centre’s Trades Trailer, an elementary skills resource, stopped by the school.

Mrs. Teneycke’s Grade 7 class hosted anEntrepreneurial Fair on Dec. 11. They’ve been working on projects for the sale. Other students were able to do some Christmas shopping that afternoon.

Grade 7 leadership ambassadors are working on the charity Coats for Kids and a non-perishable food drive between now and the holiday break. They will also be judging a door-decorating contest which is on from now until Dec. 14.

The school’s bantam boys and girls volleyball teams are off to a great start to the season. Boys have won a couple of games so far.

At Ladysmith primary school, teachers have been focused on empowering their learners with Successful Learner Traits. All students in all classes have been learning about and practicing these mindsets.

“In addition, we are sharing these with our families in our weekly newsletters and highlighting in our weekly assemblies,” notes Principal Darlene Crane.

Several classes, including Kindergarten, are using tote bins called STEMs, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical Thinking. Into these they place items to help them learn about these subjects. Next semester, the focus shifts to the Six Cedars, using these as points for six Aboriginal understandings to guide learning.

Some other activities around the school:

On Fridays, the principal spends the last part of the day making crafts or playing games with students who have positively contributed to the school.

“We always begin in a circle thanking each of them for being a positive part of our school community,” Crane said.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the “rock star” Aboriginal education assistants host a culture club during long recess, when students learn about Indigenous culture and create something to demonstrate the lesson.

Next semester at Ladysmith primary, some of the school parents will partner with staff to create various clubs for recess activities, including board games and soccer.

Finally, the school has a special event in store for families.

“We have an incredibly angelic choir that will be performing at our Christmas Concert on the 19th.”

Last day of classes for all public schools before the winter break is Friday, Dec. 21.

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