---- — Cooperstown third-graders put on a very entertaining performance in front of the rest of the elementary school and family members Friday afternoon.
It was very well-organized and we agree with physical education teacher Connie Herzig, it was “amazing,” especially considering the students only had a week to learn everything.
Students were grouped into different acts: Some played clowns, some performed on stilts, some showed off their diabolos skills, others used devil sticks, some balanced a variety of objects, some spun plates, some juggled and three daring students performed on the tight wire.
Students said they were very nervous when performing their circus acts. It was a packed gym and, for many, the first time doing something that big in front of a large audience. It certainly had to boost their self-esteem.
The students shined in the spotlight and did not let any mistakes bring them down. They just kept on going.
Like Herzig said, although the students will not likely grow up to be jugglers or circus performers of any kind, the experience will build self confidence for whatever they do in the future.
It most definitely provided a unique experience outside of the increasing state standards and requirements. It is good to see students have the opportunity to learn by doing, something that seems to be getting overshadowed with tests and base-line assessments. It is good to see children having fun and learning skills they may not even known they had at the same time.
Although the National Circus Project may be expensive, we think its mission to introduce the circus arts to students all over the U.S. is a good one. The last time artists were at Cooperstown Elementary was in 2004. Thanks to donations from the parent teacher association and an anonymous donor, the program was brought back.
Not only did the third-graders benefit from it, but all students K-6 were able to participate in workshops during Circus Week.
We hope to see the project back.