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PULSE Paints Musical Mural

Pictured (L to R):  Juan Miguel N., Ashley P., Olivia G., Cipriana G., Khalieca P., Mackenzie D., Alexys R., Amber G. and Maya C.

Pictured (L to R): Juan Miguel N., Ashley P., Olivia G., Cipriana G., Khalieca P., Mackenzie D., Alexys R., Amber G. and Maya C.

The south wall of campus now has a mural celebrating music, thanks to Mrs. Dokken’s middle school choir, PULSE.  Choir members started the project on May 6th, painting the wall with a simple, white base coat.  The following Monday, the students could be found carefully outlining the templates of the picture.  Vibrant colors were added over the next two days.

To encourage teamwork on the project, the students’ names were put in a hat and drawn out to decide who painted letters, staff lines, or the clef.  The students enjoyed working on this project, even while finding out that it is not as easy as it looks to draw or paint on cement.

CAS Celebrates Christmas and Winter Holidays with Polar Parties, 4th Grade Play, & Christmas Around the World

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“Magic” indoor snow provides messy fun at the Polar Party.

The Center for Academic Success celebrated the Christmas season with plenty of fun surrounding the holiday in addition to high-quality learning activities. Students in the k-4 elementary held a Polar Party blowout in which students decorated sugar cookies, played pin the ornament on the tree (similar to pin the tail on the donkey), and molded indoor snowmen from “magic” Arizona snow [see photo left].

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Kinder students enjoy Donut Dangle game.

Students also raced to eat sugared donuts off a string and worked with art teacher Ms. Marshall to create reindeer clothespin ornaments. At the culmination, students selected three different reindeer snack mixes to take along to view the classic cartoon — The Grinch.

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Santa and elves review the “nice” list in 4th grade musical.

Fourth grade classes also performed a winter musical in which Santa decided that kids no longer found him “hip.” Santa then decides to transform into “The Clause” as he proclaims the entire north pole to change into a 1950’s-style workshop. Dual Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves set the fun stage for this drama as Santa learns that children still love their holiday traditions. In addition to memorizing all their lines, fourth graders also sang and danced to classic Christmas carols such as “Jingle Bells,” and “Here Comes Santa Clause” in addition to 1950’s classics like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Rock Around the Clock.”

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Fourth Grade cast poses before their performance.

Many thanks to both the fourth grade class and Music Teacher Ms. Dokken who made this ambitious musical possible.

CAS also involved family and world-heritage traditions in its holiday celebrations with many classrooms decorating gingerbread houses, researching Christmas around the world, and explaining family food and gift traditions. Classes learned the stories of Father Christmas, Saint Nicolas, and the story of The Magi which have transformed over the years into holiday gift-giving. Although not every CAS family celebrates Christmas, those with differing traditions were able to explain holidays like Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanza to their classmates. Several students who do not observe holidays also shared their family traditions and beliefs for this time of year.

Whatever your family traditions, CAS offers you and yours a very Merry Christmas and time of joy this holiday season as we reflect on the year. CAS will observe a half-day with a 12:00 release on Friday, December 19th and will be closed for the holidays for two weeks. Classes will resume on Monday, January 5th, 2015.