ABS Thursday Notes- April 4, 2019

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                               April 4, 2019




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“Appalachian storytelling isn’t a theatrical performance with sets and costumes and lighting and accents, though a good storyteller can conjure all those things in the mind of the listener.” – Dave Tabler


The 4th grade “Like a Family” event is not a formal performance, but a shared experience focused on the art of story-telling, arts and crafts, dance and music of Appalachia, and the history of the textile industry in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It recalls the days before the advent of radio, when we all participated: telling stories, dancing, singing, playing instruments, adapting household objects to produce percussion and melody, creating art from whatever we found.

Students explore the history of these regions of the state all year, learning about the vibrant cultural mix of native people, immigrants, slaves, and invaders who contributed to create a rich and varied culture. We explore this through reading, research, maps, visiting experts, and the arts. In the classroom, students participate in an economic system with their teachers based on the lives of mill workers, where they earn and spend based on individual productivity.

We share what we have learned with our families in a culminating event that includes dancing to the live old-time music of theReel Shady Band, student art and sewing exhibitions, singing, and storytelling.

Preparation for the storytelling involves extra time with “Mr. Bob” Moyer and Heidi McIver, who help students focus on the lifeblood lines of acting: simply telling the story, and truly listening. Students learn traditional tales from Mr. Bob, but they also learn about child labor in the textile mills, and unionizing efforts that followed changes in lifestyle from farming to millwork. Through the famous period photos of Lewis Hine and written memoires of folks who were there, students imagine themselves into the mills and act out a scene using quotes from the letters of textile workers. Visiting speaker (and ABS parent and board member) Griff Morgan worked in the mills himself back in the day. He visits to share memories and answer questions.

Students have been learning to weave and sew, beginning with small, personalized projects including small hand-sewn, hand-pieced quilt-top pillows. In addition to the stories, students perform traditional songs from the region with Mrs. Boudreault, who grew up on an Appalachian farm, singing with her cousins. We invite parents and siblings to join in the delightful reels and square dances, led by visiting dance caller Phil Baugess. The event takes place at the MLK building and on Wednesday, April 10, at 6:00 p.m. 4th graders and their families should arrive at 5:45, dressed in their “country” clothes (no bare feet please!) Y’all come!


Community Creates: Spotlight on our Presenting Sponsor, Carolinas Pain Institute

When ABS board member Chris Gilmore, an anesthesiologist and partner at Carolinas Pain Institute, learned of the opportunity to sponsor this year’s Community Creates fundraiser, he enthusiastically volunteered to fill the need. “While gala season in Forsyth County produces some very special events, Community Creates is singular amongst them and is really a reflection of Winston-Salem, The City of Arts and Innovation.”


Chris and his wife, Shon Gilmore, became acquainted with ABS four years ago, when they were looking for a school for their boys, now ages 6 and 9. “We didn’t get a spot in the lottery, but we remained interested.” Chris later accepted an invitation to join the ABS board. “I may be the only member of my family who doesn’t have an artistic or musical bone in my body. I’m much more of a science and math kind of person, but I was raised to appreciate and support the arts, and my role on the Board has been my outlet for the last few years. The curriculum is so unique at ABS. It’s really unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in public elementary education. It’s great to see this approach work. A look at the lottery applications and the performance of our students in all areas of study is a testament to that.”


Chris and Shon are now veteran supporters of both ABS and Community Creates. “It’s truly a special night. My first year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Shon and I were blown away by the volume of incredible artwork and the talent that Winston-Salem is home to. Now, we save the date each year. We’ve come away with some really cool pieces that have enhanced our home, and we look forward to adding more. I’m more than happy to celebrate and contribute to such a unique event that supports an entire school that reflects my family’s values.”


When Chris approached his colleagues at Carolinas Pain Institute about supporting Community Creates as the presenting sponsor, it wasn’t hard to make the case. “Austin North, a former ABS student and aspiring actor, is the son of one of my partners. He knows exactly what ABS has done for our community and has a great, and personal, appreciation for the mission.”


The Arts Based School is delighted to recognize Carolinas Pain Institute as presenting sponsor for Community Creates. Carolinas Pain Institute is a nationally recognized medical practice with the mission of responsibly and effectively treating acute, chronic, and cancer pain. Their team of providers is composed of several thought leaders in the field of Pain Medicine, all of which are well-versed in the multidisciplinary treatment of painful disorders. CPI’s team places an emphasis on functional improvement through medication management, minimally invasive procedures, implantable devices, education, and clinical research. Carolinas Pain Institute has served the Triad Community for the last 15 years under the leadership of Richard Rauck, MD. For more information, visit: https://carolinaspaininstitute.com.

Please join us for Community Creates on Saturday, May 4, from 7-11pm in our 7th street building. Tickets are available for purchase now!


Parking At ABS           

We have recently added Towing Signs to the ABS parking.  To be sure your vehicle is not mistakenly towed, please place your ABS dismissal tag (the one you use in the afternoon for dismissal) in the front window when you park.  This will help us distinguish those who are supposed to be in our lot from those who aren’t.  Thanks!


Art Clubs and Music Ensembles Ending May 3rd

The last week of Art Clubs and Music Ensembles (choir, band, strings) will be April 30-May 3. Please arrange to pick up your student at the regular dismissal times, after that.


Another Summer Camp Added

Can You Escape?

Imagine the clock is ticking. With each passing second, your time is running out and your odds of success are shrinking. As you attempt to solve mysterious puzzles and find the hidden codes to unlock clues, you and your fellow teammates can feel the tension building. Will you solve the mystery before the clock runs out?


This week, we will spend time learning about codes, puzzles, and how to search for clues. Additionally, we will spend time in themed escape rooms attempting to either solve a mystery or find a way out of a locked room. As the week progresses, the difficulty of the escape rooms will only increase. Join us for a week of suspenseful fun! Camp registration is currently open to ABS students only and filling up quickly.   See more information and registration at ABS Summer Camps



Extended Day Program

ABS will offer an extended day program from 2:00-5:30 PM for parents who need care beyond the summer camp hours of 9-2. The cost is an additional $15 per day. Space is limited! Those who are interested should contact



Lost and Found

Please check lost and found for items you may have forgotten.   All items not claimed by April 12 will be donated.