Posts tagged ‘Adamsville Elementary’
We couldn’t be prouder of Miles and Adamsville elementary chorus teacher Letricia Henson and Douglass High choral director Ben Polite, who currently are performing in the chorus for the Atlanta Opera‘s sold-out run of “Porgy and Bess” this week at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. It should be noted that the opera chorus already has received rave reviews, and we’d like to think Henson and Polite are two big-voice reasons why.
And this isn’t Henson’s first rodeo with George and Ira Gerswhin‘s iconic opera, which tells the story of African Americans in Depression Era Charleston, S.C. She sang in the opera chorus for the Atlanta Opera’s first mounting of “Porgy and Bess” back in 2005, and the following year performed the opera in Paris with the same group. (It marked the first time an American opera chorus of this kind was ever invited to perform in a European music hall, Henson notes.)
Students streaming into the media center at Adamsville Elementary were greeted by Atlanta children’s book author Evelyn Coleman — and a big screen. Instead of reading to the children from her various works, Coleman let noted actor James Earl Jones do the talking, through the Web site Storyline Online, as he read To Be a Drum. (A handful of students instantly recognized the story, illustrated by the great Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Using the large video screen, Coleman noted, allowed children to appreciate Robinson’s drawings.
Afterwward, Coleman inspired the students with an overview of her career, which included stints as a psychotherapist and martial artist before she settled on writing. “My father taught me when I was young that you need to learn to read, and to speak correct English — otherwise, people won’t know what you want!” she told students. “Now, education doesn’t always mean school, but everyone should learn about the people around them, and the world around them. Coleman later discussed her recent historical work, Freedom Train, based on the journey of the famous train through the 1940s-era Deep South. She also recounted such historical African-American figures as the great singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield and Civil War spy Mary Elizabeth Browser.
Thanks to a dedicated media specialist and a great partnership, Adamsville Elementary enjoyed a return engagement with noted children’s book author Ashley Bryan in an appearance this week at the school. Bryan is author and illustrator of such respected works as Beautiful Blackbird, which earned the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. He read to a group of children from the third through fifth grades early in the morning and followed up with a session for students in kindergarten through second grade. Bryan also read poems by Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hughes.
“He interacts with the children in a very fun way,” said Megann Williams, who in her second year as Adamsville’s media specialist has helped coordinate the partnership with the group Children’s Literature for Children. The group was founded by Kemie Nix and also works with Westminster Schools.