Two weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of attending Hawthorne Village Public School’s Arts Day. When I booked this gig, I could not have imagined the magnitude of what this day entailed. From the moment I arrived I was greeted in the parking lot by a staff member and shown where to go (something that rarely happens) I was given a welcome packet including school map, programming schedule (they brought in around 20 presenters all for the arts) and a gift of homemade cookies! Every staff member I met was extremely kind and excited to have me there. They worked as a team and had to communicate well to pull of this massive day for their kids.
The students were polite and engaged and all 3 of my workshops went without a hitch. However the real highlight of the day was a provided luncheon for the presenters in the gym that featured a full hours worth of live entertainment PROVIDED BY THE STUDENTS!!! It was amazing! Junior choirs, drama club, spoken word, poetry, live band and dance teams. There must have been close to 200 kids participating. It was beyond incredible and I could not stop smiling. The kids were having a blast and the teachers were so proud. Upon leaving the school i reflected on why the atmosphere was so different and the answer was obvious. The schools principal, Carolyn Lewis, was a former music teacher.
It all made sense. Hawthorne Village was a prime example of what happens when arts are put at the forefront of a students education. The community and team mentality of the school was impossible to miss. It seemed that everyone in the school was involved in some arts extracurricular, and it showed. The halls were filled with life and vibrancy. Students and staff who worked as a team and had created a community they were proud of. You could tell they all love coming to school everyday, well more days than most.
Carolyn Lewis and her team at Hawthorne Village do not take their responsibility lightly. There jobs are to create amazing human beings and they are doing that through the arts. I am still today inspired and beyond impressed. I hope to return someday soon!