J.J. Jones Intermediate School has chosen to accentuate its Leader In Me program by a child-driven Talent Show which officials are hoping will become an annual event.
According to Assistant Librarian Dawn Wilson, the show seemed a fun way of pulling together the program’s goals such as living by principles, responsibility, teamwork and balance.
Wilson said the show is set for May 3 and has more than 20 acts including magic, music and dance. The show will offer a book fair and a student art exhibit the night of the event. The talent show will be staged inside the entrance of the school. Doors are set to open at 5:30 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments (popcorn and soda) will be available and the cost of admission is by donation only with no set amount. Wilson hinted a flash mob featuring prominent members of the county could also occur at the event.
“Very few adults are helping with this. It is very much kid run. Students are the crew members for the show. They serve as ushers, backstage, security and popcorn sales as well as performers,” said Wilson. “Even the students who act had to audition in front of a panel of judges. Crew members were required to fill out an application for the job they wanted.”
One of the questions on the application was to explain why they wanted the job. Applicants received letters telling them if they had been hired for one of the 20 positions. Wilson said students also understand that behavior is important to keep this job and they can be fired before the night of the show.
She said they are trying to make this a formal evening with boys wearing ties and girls wearing dresses. Students are also making a red paper carpet for the talent show. Wilson estimated that 100 children are involved with the show which has a music theme. The slogan for the show is “Bears have Talent.”
“It has surprised me how students have picked this up and run with this. This is the first talent show we’ve had here for many years,” said Wilson. “This show is teaching the kids responsibility. It’s amazing and more in-depth than it seems on the surface. This talent show is my baby. I am so excited and the kids are all abuzz about it.”
Fifth grade student Ellie Martin said the show goes along well with the recent “Leader In Me” program modeled after Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Happy Children.
“We’ve even sent letters to the president as well as Justin Bieber and other celebrities,” said Martin, who will perform a modern version of the balcony scene from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with classmate Cayden Hill. The adaptation was written by Wilson.
“There aren’t any winners in this show,” said Hill. “This is just for fun. Filling out the job application for me wasn’t that bad because there are a lot of things I do at home so I could put down a lot of jobs.”
Martin said she was nervous filling out the job application. She said many of her classmates were able to fill out the front and back of the form with jobs they did at home. She also quickly explained students had do do their best so more shows could happen. Martin said kids couldn’t “goof off” and they really wanted to show what they can do.
“This was very much a behavior driven project,” added Wilson. “Students had to get their home room teachers and parents to approve of their participation.” She said Erette Bobbitt will serve as emcee for the talent show. Other adult volunteers who have helped include Art Teacher Ashlee Kniskern and Sandra Jones will help back stage.
Wilson said she has particularly enjoyed mixing different personalities together in the assignments and has seen the creative synergism encourage students to “step up” as they work towards a goal. All proceeds from the show will go back to the school. Wilson said she hopes some of the money can help towards purchasing more computers for the media center.
“They are really learning a lot about life more than anything else with this process,” said Wilson. “I think we’re going to blow the roof of the place with this talent show it’s going to be something.”
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.