ABS Thursday Notes- January 23, 2020

Thursday Notes                       

Published for the Arts Based School Community                         January 23, 2020



How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


Yesterday I let one butterfly out. …Just … one!” –   Kindergartener after dress rehearsal.


Here’s a Kindergarten lesson that works for adults, too. Do you ever get butterflies in your tummy before something special is about to happen? Maybe a big job interview, a presentation, a first date, a difficult conversation, or a performance of Peter and the Wolf? Raise your hand, if you’ve ever felt a few little butterflies fluttering in your tummy. (You know there aren’t really butterflies in your tummy, right? It’s just our imagination, but it feels like butterflies.)

Close your eyes. Can you see what color your butterflies are? Can you make them fly in a circle? Nice, pretty little butterflies! Open your eyes now, and raise your hand, if you’d like to share what color your butterflies are. (Some Kinder answers: sparkly rainbow, green wings with black spots, turquoise, yellow, camouflage…)

Those butterflies are helpers. They give you a little extra energy. It helps them if you close your eyes and say hello to them, and notice what color they are. They also love nice, fresh air. Let’s take a deep breath for our butterflies and give them some air. (Big sighs: “Ahhhhhh!)

Kindergarteners color their butterflies in the classroom, before they go to their performance of Peter & the Wolf. While they wait in the wings for the show to begin, we remind them to give their butterflies some breath. Lots of smiles, sighs, and color return to little faces, when we do this. It will help you with your job interview, your public speaking engagement, or your important meeting, too.

This is all based on research – there is plenty of it, regarding stage fright. Everyone seems to agree that deep breathing helps calm anxiety and focus the mind. And some experts advise that the worst symptoms arise from the performer’s attempt to resist the butterflies. If you see, acknowledge and flow with your symptoms, you can transform stress to focus. Don’t be a hard surface attempting to block the butterflies. (Think: windshield on a speeding vehicle.) Instead, become the breeze upon which they flutter. There is a synergistic enhancement that you can ride, if you flow with that extra energy. When we welcome our butterflies, they become good guys. You can even give them names. As one Kindergartener advised: “Give them some water and air, and give them time to play.”


Kindergarten’s Performance of Peter and the Wolf

All sixty ABS Kindergarten students will perform Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, joined by UNCSA’s “PLUCK” modern dancers, a quintet of UNCSA student musicians, and Maestro Peter Perret narrating, on Wednesday, February 5 at 12:15 p.m. at the Freedman Theatre in Alex Ewing Performance Place, on the UNCSA campus. Parking is available at the Fitness Center, and a free shuttle to the theater will be running from 11:45. The show is about 30 minutes long. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted to help pay for the theater.


Special Event Replaces Friday Sing in February

First Friday Sing would typically take place on Feb. 7, but school will be out that day, for teachers to attend a conference. The following Friday, February 14, as  special celebration of Black History Month, we are excited to welcome the WSSU Burke Singers to perform for K-4. Regrettably, we can not accommodate a parent audience at this event.




Student Intent for 2019-20 School Year

As we prepare for next year’s enrollment lottery (2020-21), it is important to know how many spaces are available in each grade.  As a current student, your child has priority placement and no additional action is required.   If your child is not returning to ABS for the 2020-21 school year, please notify Stephanie LeFever at slefever@artsbasedschool.com


Siblings of students also receive priority, but must fill out an enrollment application. You must complete an application for the 2020-21 school year for siblings of current students in order to reserve a space before the lottery.  Deadline for receiving applications is Jan 31 @ 3pm. Applications are available on our school website www.artsbasedschool.com


January Parent Council Meeting

Please join us for Parent Council meeting on Friday, January 24 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. Here’s the link for the meeting’s agenda. https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Av_RdRyWthhuEQ3wExp-g355YzXCNsMsdC2oTTm74Y/edit?usp=sharing




Mark your calendar! Saturday, Feb. 1st from 9:00am to 12:30pm will be our ABS Parent-Child Retreat!


This special program will be a fun-filled opportunity for parents and their children to enjoy some high quality one-on-one time (without younger siblings who are also vying for your attention). Children and parents will both get to know each other better than ever before. There will be plenty of laughter, several special touching moments, and hopefully at least one breakthrough in solving a problem that has been nagging for a while. We will play creative and cooperative games, while having conversations from the heart about what matters most in your relationship. Parents will also get a chance to meet other parents to share what works (and what to do when it doesn’t work!).


You can register you and your child to attend at the front desk. Please include a $10 donation to help cover the expenses, but full scholarships are available if needed. Look for a blue flyer in today’s packet going home.


Please enter through the cafeteria door of the MLK building at 8:45am on Sat. Feb 1 so we can start promptly at 9:00. (We have all new games and conversation starters this year.)


Here’s a quick video with photos from last year: https://youtu.be/6cPpKAqirJ4


Coming soon to ABS-Afterschool Yoga

Growga 6 week session
To register go to: mygrowga.com/arts-based-school
February 18 – March 24 (Tuesdays) from 2:30-3:30 for students in grades 2-4
February 20 – March 26 (Thursdays) from 2:45-3:45 for students in grades 5-8

MAP Testing in January

Third through eighth grade students will complete the second round of MAP testing in January.  After the testing is complete, parents will receive an updated score report showing the progress your student has made this year.


Middle School January Jam-

 Friday, January 24th 2:45-4:00pm

Kick back and relax, we’ll take care of the kids.  For $5 we will provide a fun afternoon with a live DJ,  music, and dancing for ABS middle school kids from 2:45 to 4:00pm.  Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. ($1 for drinks, chips, and candy).  ABS 5th -8th graders only in the 7th St Building.    All parents must park and come inside to pick up students at or before 4:00.  Permission Slip and Money must be turned in by Thursday, January 23. Students will not be permitted to stay without a permission slip.  January Jam Permission Slip


We have the following volunteer opportunities and they can send an e-mail to me at LGBeane2@gmail.com if they are interested in helping:


Concessions Sales (2:20 to 4)

Hall Monitor (2:20 to 4)

Clean-up (Immediately following event)



Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).


Prospective Parents’ Tours

School tours for prospective parents are scheduled weekly on Thursdays at 9:30am.  Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms.  Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023.  Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February.



Around Town…

Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony FREE Concert For Community Saturday, January 25 3:00 PM Wait Chapel at WFU.


INTERSTITIAL #2: A second dance between exhibitions

Saturday January 25, 2020 at 3pm


Chris and Taryn are excited to be partnering again with the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) for another round of INTERSTITIAL.  This time they are joined by Marta Djorovic of the SAETTA String Quartet, video artist Steve Morrison, and an ensemble of dancers that includes: Dawanna Benjamin (ABS teacher), Trish Casey, Faith Fidgeon, Caitlyn Swett, Kelly Swindell, Maurice Watson, and Bea Yon (ABS 2nd grader)




11th Annual MLK Day Read-In on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10am – 1pm.


“This is the 11th annual MLK Read-In, which celebrates the legacy of MLK by promoting social justice education and literacy. Volunteers from WSSU, WFU, UNCSA, and Salem College all participate in this event either as activity station leaders or as reading buddies. Reading buddies are paired with local children, ages 4-11, and experience various activity booths together as a team. The highlight and namesake of the event is the reading station, where the reading buddies read to their child. Each participating child goes home with an age-appropriate civil-rights themed books in either English or Spanish.


Parents and guardians can drop off their children (ages 4-11) at the event, but we would prefer that you register your child beforehand using this youth registration form. (The form is also available in Spanish.) This is especially important if you are planning on bringing a group of children to participate, so that we can recruit an accurate number of volunteers.