Today, I performed my “Jump, Jiggle & Jam” program for a PK-5 elementary school in the Metro New Orleans area. I had so much fun with the students. I saw about 600 students in two assembly performances in the gym. The show is a rousing and energetic performance of favorite folktales “remixed with rhythm, rhyme, and rap.” My first story was “The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza,” a signature story full of humor and tons of audience participation. Both groups (PK-2 and 3-5) really enjoyed it.
Following that tale, I performed my original song, “Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam.” We build a “gourmet” PB&J. The sandwich begins with traditional peanut butter and jelly. Then there’s a twist as the other ingredients are added (apples & bananas, peppers & pickles, ketchup & mustard, and finally sardines & anchovies). By the end, the kids are really grossing out and laughing at the concoction. Here are some students helping me put that interesting sandwich together.
My last story was another signature story, “Rockin’ Three Billy Goats.” Kids love the “trippity trap” chorus and my rapping “Hoogedy Boogedy Woogedy” Troll. I never get tired of telling this story because every audience’s reaction to the story makes it fresh for me.
After my upper elementary performance, I had a Q&A session. The kids asked questions such as “Is it fun to travel to other countries and learn new languages?” “Where have you traveled?” “How do you remember so many stories?” I spoke to them about the importance of reading, writing, social studies, and taking learning seriously. I told them that when they are old enough to decide what they want to do in life, they will need to know as much as they can about the world around them.
When the students were filing out, they were high-fiving me, hugging me, and asking for autographs. One little boy exclaimed, “This is my first time meeting a millionaire!” They assumed that because I travel so much, I’m rich. Hahahaha!
It was a special day at school and they had other activities going on including a visit from the NBA Hornets Bookmobile. Parents were also in attendance at my show and I sold quite a few CDs. 🙂 One of the 1st grade teachers returned with three of their students, who read me fractured tales from their writing journals. Wow! They were really amazing writers!
It was such a wonderful day and they told me they would be inviting me back again next year. Yay! (Thank you, Jeanne! Your school is wonderful – I love the teachers, staff and students!) I am really blessed to be able to do what I do for a living. Who wouldn’t want to have a job where you can be silly, have fun, and inspire children and teachers all at the same time?!! Thank you to all my clients and fans for helping me achieve my mission of “Connecting Children and Learning through the Arts.”
Boys and girls, if you are reading this, remember ~ keep reaching for the stars; sky’s the limit!
When I arrived home, I had more work to do (of course). I began preparing for my last two days at my Stories on Board Residency. I am going to tell a fun version of “The Three Little Pigs” and have the students play “Pigopoly.” (I couldn’t resist.)
My nieces are coming over to help me color the boards once again. (Thank you Eliana, Camrynn & Jasmynn!)
Next week, I finish my residency and then head to Dallas for the Texas Librarian’s Association conference. Until next time…