ABS Thursday Notes- May 31, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                       May 31, 2018




How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert


“We all got a poem in us somewhere.” – Larry “”LB the Poet” Barron, Jr.


The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting sponsors independent journalists covering underreported global issues. The organization engages students in learning about both the topics their journalists. Our 8th graders received a visit earlier in the year from Pulitzer Fellow Daniella Zalcman, a photojournalist who shared her work on her project: Signs of Your Identity. She uses photography and interviews to share the experiences of native Canadians who experienced forced relocation to a network of Indian Residential Schools. Ms. Zalcman created multiple exposure portraits to suggest that, while these places are gone from the Earth, they are painful, ever-present memories within each survivor.

The 8th graders worked with visiting artist Diana Greene and ABS art teacher Elizabeth Gledhill to photograph their own self-portraits, and then incorporate a similar technique to Ms. Zalcman’s to identify themselves with a space at ABS that is meaningful to them.

Meanwhile, students worked with resident artist Bob Moyer and ABS teachers Ms. McNamara and Ms. Farrell on poetic responses to the news, both past and current. Playing off the Pulitzer work and the idea of photo overlay, they looked at moments in time. They examined images of world events and protests, with no headings. They described what they believed had happened on and off screen, what people were seeing, what they might be thinking, and noted their own responses. They then moved to pictures related to civil rights and visited the The International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro. When they returned, they looked again at related photos and wrote words and feelings with fresh background knowledge. The teachers encouraged them to think about the moment they saw in the image and to report their thoughts from different points of view. They collected and layered words to express their response to the world around them, much as they did with photography. This is journalism through art.

Finally, the students were visited by a group of professional poets: Joe Mills, E’laina Barron, Bob Moyer, and L.B. Barron, Jr. (“L.B. The Poet.”) These poets performed their own insights about civil rights and life in general. They marveled at the work the student poets shared with them in turn. Here are a few examples:


Impossible yet


How did it happen

It did

We are colors-

Were colors

Grouping by colors

Saturation of pigment


Associate me with them

Define us by it

Kill us for it


(Alex Lail)




I am a man






Tanks Guns

Standing up

Fire bomb

Coloreds Only



(Aaron Lawrence)



Equality just around the corner   


Seemed so far away.  


(Emelia Dollbaum)


Graduation Next Thursday

The 8th grade graduation ceremony takes place next Thursday, June 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the ABS Ewing Theater. (1380 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.) The exercises will last about 45 minutes. Students should dress up, (avoid jeans, sneakers, T-shirts) and arrive by 5:45On Friday, students will do the traditional walk-through procession of both buildings, to be cheered and greeted by all K–7 students, before Field Day fun begins.



Fourth Graders “Fly-up”!

Fourth grade students will get a chance to visit the 7th Street building with their teacher and Assistant Principal Raper next week. They will meet front office staff members, see where classrooms are located, and have a chance to ask questions about daily life in the 7th Street building. Parents of middle school students should stay tuned for information about a middle school orientation to be offered in August.


End of Year Checklist

  • Pick up medications from the front office
  • Be sure all fees and lunch balances are paid
  • Let us know if you will not be returning to ABS next year.  If your child is transferring to another school, please let us know where to send your child’s records by emailing Stephanie LeFever – slefever@artsbasedschool.com
  • Friday, June 8  is the last day of school.  Early dismissal.


mClass Reading Results Sent Home

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has implemented and required a kindergarten through third grade reading assessment called mCLASS:Reading 3D to help teachers assess, track and support each student’s reading skills.  Each student will be assessed every trimester using the online assessment program.  mCLASS:Reading 3D will instantly analyze your child’s development in grade-appropriate foundational reading skills. Teachers will use this data to focus their instruction around your child’s specific needs, in areas that may include:

  • Hearing and using sounds in spoken words (Phonemic Awareness)
  • Knowing sounds of letters and sounding out written words (Alphabetic Principle)
  • Reading words in stories easily, quickly, and correctly (Accuracy and Fluency)
  • Understanding what they read (Reading Comprehension).


In this week’s Thursday Packet, you will receive a letter outlining your child’s specific assessment results and progress as a reader. The letter will also include learning activities you and your child can do together at home to reinforce skills learned at school.  Parent support and reading at home are a vital part of your child’s education. The teacher’s efforts, combined with your support, will help your child read with mastery and confidence.  If you have any questions about the assessment, the activities, or your child’s classroom work and progress, please talk to your child’s teacher during conference time.


Field Day

Field Day will be held on June 8th this year. It’s a half-day and we need volunteers to help the classes run their games. Please contact your class rep if you can help. This is one of the last opportunities of the year to earn volunteer hours.


Summer Reading Countdown Continues with Bookmarks:

Pre-K-12th grade students are invited to participate in Bookmarks Summer Reading Program, and the school with the most participants will win $500 worth of books for their school library. Participants will receive a Summer Reading Passport, which has book lists for Pre-K, Elementary, Middle, and High School students to read and enjoy, along with free events and activities to participate in at Bookmarks and in our community. All are offered for students during the summer to keep them engaged. Upon completion, the Summer Reading Program Passport may be turned in on Saturday, September 8 at the Bookmarks’ Festival for a book of the student’s choice. In addition, all participants will be entered into a contest where four winners will receive a $50 gift card to Bookmarks.

Help us win books for our school library by participating!  Bookmarks has made it easier than ever to participate in their summer reading program- we hope every student at ABS will participate! Even if you cannot attend the Festival on September 8th, you can still participate.  Once school starts in the fall, we will collect entries at ABS for those who cannot attend the Festival.

Summer Reading Passports are in this week’s Thursday folders as well as attached.

For more information, visit: https://www.bookmarksnc.org/summer-reading-2018

Save the date for these events by Bookmarks:

The 2018 Bookmarks Summer Reading Program Kickoff event will be held on Saturday, June 9 from 2 – 4 p.m. at Bookmarks,634 W. Fourth Street #110 in downtown Winston-Salem. Games and inflatables will be provided by the YMCA along with giveaways and overviews of the Summer Reading Program and the featured authors.

Dav Pilkey (author of Captain Underpants and Dog Man series) will deliver Bookmarks’ first Kids’ Keynote on Friday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Reynolds Auditorium.  Tickets will go on sale Friday, July 27 at 10 a.m.



All Library Books Due

All library books are PAST DUE.  There are still books that are checked out (see Thursday folders for overdue notices) as well as books that are MISSING from the library- please look around your house for any ABS library books and help us get all our library books back to school.  Thanks!


Mr. Z still has spots available for his film and theater camps this summer!

Both camps are now available to any and all current ABS students! 

Deadline to sign up is next week.


Click the links below to view more information and to sign up:


20 Hour Film Challenge



Peter and the Starcatcher



Around Town…

Coming Soon…

Legally Blonde: The Musical!

UNCSA School of Drama’s Acting Out Program

Agnes DeMille Theatre

June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 2018 at 7:30pm and 2:00pm.


How many ABS students and teachers can we possibly fit into one production??? This fun, high-energy production is chock full of familiar faces. It features several ABS alumni and current students with direction by Mr. Z, choreography by Ms. Koza, and music direction by Mrs. Cooper!


Tickets are going fast! But there are still some available to grab from the UNCSA Box Office at 336-721-1945. Adults are $15 and Children/Seniors are only $13.


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