ABS Thursday Notes- October 13, 2016
Published for the Arts Based School Community October 13, 2016
How We Do It and Why
By Mary Siebert
“To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.” – Elie Weisel
Brundibár is a children’s opera by Czech composer Hans Krása, based on a cheerful folk tale. It is widely regarded as the finest opera ever composed for children to sing (with an adult orchestra.) It premiered in 1941, at a Jewish orphanage in Prague. In 1942, Hans Krása was arrested by the Nazis and imprisoned at Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp, where an estimated 33,000 people died of overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. 88,000 people were sent from Terezín to Auschwitz and other death camps. The Nazis allowed the children of Terezín to perform Brundibár at least 55 times at Terezín, routinely shipping the young singers to death camps afterward, to be replaced by a new cast of children. When the International Red Cross visited Terezín in 1944, the Nazis theatrically staged the camp as a temporary showpiece to refute growing allied suspicions that Jews were being exterminated. Terezín was staged with a new Kindergarten, a park, flowers, rich food, and concerts. The prisoners were dressed in fine clothing. Just before the arrival of the Red Cross, the Nazis shipped 7,500 people to Auschwitz, to create more open space. The opera Brundibár was performed for the Red Cross visitors, to demonstrate how happy and productive the children of Terezín were. Red Cross representatives reported to the world that Nazi prison camps were safe, clean, and pleasant. Immediately after the Red Cross departed, the cast and the composer were sent to Auschwitz to be killed. This innocent little opera has carried the weight of its terrible historical context, ever after.
The Arts Based School’s 7th Graders perform Brundibár annually, as part of a state-required study of World War II, the Holocaust, and genocide. One year, a surviving cast member, Ela Weissberger, visited us and shared memories of the friends she had loved and lost. She stood with our students to join in the “Victory Song,” and asked us always to remember her friends. Memoirs of children who lived at Terezín, the testimony of surviving cast members, historic video footage of a Brundibár performance at the prison camp, and the experience of singing the very notes those children sang, help us consider the Holocaust through the eyes of young victims whose memory we keep alive through this project. We sing in solidarity with those lost friends.
Brundibár will be performed by all ABS 7th graders outdoors, with a professional orchestra, in the 7th Street courtyard on Wednesday, October 19th at 7:00 p.m. (Rain date: October 21st, 7:00 p.m.) The opera lasts about one hour. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to cover production costs.
Parent Council News:
Parent Council Meeting Friday, October 14
Join us this Friday morning at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe for our monthly Parent Council meeting. The agenda is attached to the Thursday Notes email. If you have any questions, contact Parent Council Co-Chairs Lindsay Deibler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Julee Nunley (email@example.com).
Box Tops Collection Friday, October 14
Please send in your Box Tops with your child this Friday morning, October 14. Volunteers will be at the doors to both buildings to collect Box Tops. This is a simple way to support the school financially. There is also a new Box Tops app that families can download to make redeeming Box Tops easyl. If you have questions, contact Box Tops Coordinator, Gwen Ashburn. (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://www.boxtops4education.com
Special Parent Council Meetings Scheduled for November
We will not have our regular Friday morning meeting in November, but will host two other meetings in its place.
Math Workshop on November 3, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
This math workshop for parents is designed to help parents understand the approach to teaching mathematics that can transform students’ math experiences, including classroom approaches, essentials strategies for students, and advice for parents for supporting their child math thinking. This workshop is free but please RSVP to email@example.com
Positive Discipline for Parents on Saturday, November 19, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Positive Discipline is for parents who are looking for long-term parenting skills that will encourage their children to think for themselves, become more responsible and have a greater respect for themselves and others. The teachings on Positive Discipline are filled with non-punitive, respectful methods that will incorporate kindness and firmness into parenting, help parents get to the core of their child’s misbehavior, bring more joy into the home and give parents a sense of accomplishment. There will be a $10 charge per family to attend the workshop and childcare will be provided. See attached flyer to sign up, or pick up one in the front office.
Skate Night Tonight!
Get ready to rock and roll! The K-Kids and Builders Clubs are sponsoring their first skate night tonight, Oct 13, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Skate Haven is located at 120 Hood Drive in Winston-Salem, and the cost is $5.00 per person, which includes the rental of skates. The theme is Crazy Hair. Invite your friends and family, and let’s all roll into a great new year!
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.
Halloween is Coming
Please do not send students to school in costumes. We all enjoy the fun and excitement of Halloween but find that costumes and accessories make it very difficult to concentrate. Also we do not want students to bring candy in their lunch bags for snacks. Although it can be delicious, high sugar snacks should not replace a healthy snack. Thanks for your help!
ABS Garden Planting Day-October 15
Cooler weather means we can get back to planting the bank around the 7th Street parking lot with all the native species we have in store. Have you noticed how much the birds and butterflies love what is becoming of the campus? We even have a groundhog trying to ruin our vegetable gardens–not usually a welcome resident, but still pretty impressive in our corner of the concrete jungle.
Saturday, October 15, from 9 to 1, we will continue to clear out weeds and plant beautiful grasses and wildflowers on the bank.
Bring gloves, weeding tools, trowels, and cordless drills if you have them. We use them with a big auger bit to make holes for planting little plugs into. Also bring your kids, your snacks and water, plus as many friends and relations as you can muster.
RSVP and questions to Matt Mayers: firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE: Student Night! The Winston-Salem Symphony invites students of all ages attend FREE, open rehearsal of ODE TO JOY! BEETHOVEN’S NINTH at the Stevens Center on Friday, October 14, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. Tickets are required for attendance. For more information or to secure your ticket contact the box office at 336-464-0145. Deadline for RSVP is TOMORROW, Friday, October 7.