ABS Thursday Notes- February 8, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                            February 8, 2018




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  A: Practice, practice, practice.


Tomorrow, the third graders travel to Reynolds Auditorium to join about 1,500 other 3 – 5 grade students from around the city, for the Winston-Salem Symphony’s Mary Starling “Link Up” concert. Link-Up is a program for students nationwide (and in several countries across the sea,) from the Carnegie Hall organization. This is our first year with this project. It will be exciting to hear reports of the big concert day, from students!


To prepare for the concert, Mr. Wilbur has been teaching third graders the dynamic curriculum provided (free of charge) by the Carnegie organization. It focuses on the musical element of melody. When they travel to the concert, students are encouraged to bring along recorders (the flute-like musical instrument, not the electronic device,) and play and sing along with the Winston-Salem Symphony. Like me, you probably all want to be there with them. But seating is limited, and the auditorium will be packed with students and teachers.


They have learned Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his 9th Symphony, a melody from Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony, new works composed for this event, and two traditional folk songs. They prepare a song in Spanish – one they particularly love, called “Oye!”  If you are a third-grade parent, you’ve heard this one rising from the back seat! They have each been given a book with the notated music, the story of Stravinsky’s “Firebird” ballet (which they will listen to, not play,) and many exercises and lessons about playing music with an ensemble.


Mr. Wilbur has found the students extremely responsive to the challenge. He says that some of this music might seem inaccessible to a young student, when they see and hear a big orchestra with a conductor; it might seem unreachable. But this program brings them to the works from the inside, and they inhabit it.


He is enjoying watching students truly following in the music with full attention, recognizing durations and pitches and more complex rhythms than before. He sees them excited and self-motivated to take their books home and practice. He sees them helping one another during rehearsal. He’s proud of that.


Mr. Wilbur has also been observing great improvement in students’ management of breath control as they play their instruments. He sees that students are successfully recognizing a very difficult concept: no matter how exciting the swell of the music might be, you are responsible for the quality of your own part. You must trust that if you contribute your small part with attentive care, the beautiful collective product will be realized.


Have a Heart- ABS Builders Club Coat Drive,  February 12-16

Have a heart and help ABS Builders Club, by donating your gently used coats, gloves, hats and scarfs and help wrap families in our community in warm layers of love this winter. Collection bins are located in the lobby of the MLK building and the 7th street building. Thank you for your donations!


ABS Enrollment Lottery

Next Tuesday’s lottery will fill 29 open spaces, placing over 400 students on our waiting list. The procedure for the lottery is dictated by the state, and we follow each step with care. We have no influence over who is accepted and who is not. State regulations dictate that we place siblings of ABS students, children of full-time ABS employees, and children of board members at the top of the list, but other than this, placement is by lottery. This is accomplished by assigning a number to each applicant, writing that number on an individual Bingo ball, and allowing the turning ball machine to randomly release one ball at a time. The process is continued through all applicants, until each of them is placed either in a class or on the waiting list. It’s exciting for us that our school is beloved and that so many families hope to join our community. It’s also painful that we have to turn many away.  The lottery will be held Tuesday, Feb 13 at 5:45 in the MLK cafeteria. 


K-Kids Sponsoring Read to Feed

The K-Kids are once again sponsoring the very popular  school-wide fund raiser for Heifer International called “Read to Feed,” from now until February 16. Heifer International is an organization which contributes livestock and training to families in need around the world and helps them build sustainable businesses. Each child who participates will ask family and friends to donate a certain amount for each book he or she reads (or, for young students, for each book read to them) from now until Feb. 26, and that amount will go toward buying cows, chicken, sheep, goats or llamas for a family.


Flu Season

As you know, flu can be easily spread from person to person.  We are asking for your help in reducing the spread of flu at ABS.  The symptoms for the seasonal flu and H1N1 are the same: fever of 100 degrees or more, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, and feeling very tired.  Students with these symptoms will be sent home.

You can help us by taking these simple steps:

  • Teach children to wash their hands often.
  • Teach your children not to share food or drink.
  • Teach children to cough or sneeze into their elbows to avoid spreading germs.
  • Keep sick children home.

Get the flu vaccine for you and your children.


Parent Council News:

Parent Council Meeting – Friday, February 16
Please join us for the February Parent Council on Friday, February 16 at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend!  Don’t forget that attendance at Parent Council meetings counts toward volunteer hours.  If you have requests for the agenda, please send them to Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) by Friday, February 9.

Class Rep Meeting in February!
We will have a brief Annual Giving training meeting for all class reps following the Parent Council meeting on Friday, February 16.  We will discuss the logistics of the campaign and your role in helping to communicate with your classroom.  Don’t worry – it’s easy and won’t take much time!  Can’t attend or have questions?  Please contact Annual Giving Co-Chairs Jennifer Bender(jensray@gmail.com) and Brandi Cleveland (clevelbb@wfu.edu).  Thank you!


Upcoming Events:


8th – Secca / 12×12 NC Show / Yadkin Riverkeepers

Friday, February 9

10:45am – 2:00pm


3rd – WS Symphony “Link Up” Concert

Friday, February 9

11:20am – 1:00pm


2nd – Visit with Audiologist, Janet Blank

Monday, February 12

9:00am – 10:00am


3rd – Old Salem

Tuesday, February 13

8:45am – 12:15pm


ABS Lottery

Tuesday, February 13

5:45pm – 6:45pm


ABS Board Meeting

Tuesday, February 13



Kinder – Greensboro Science Center

Wednesday, February 14

8:30am – 1:30pm