At EACMSI, skills in performance and public speaking are practiced in every classroom throughout the school year with the goal of giving children the skills and confidence to express themselves articulately in front of teachers, peers, the school community and ultimately the larger community.
This curricular thread is diverse, ranging from standing tall in the Primary class singing a solo, to participating in classroom skits and reader’s theater, to giving lessons for parents on Demonstration Night and during the Upper Level Research Fair.
In Middle School, students regularly lead the entire school community during all school assemblies, run their own Parent/Teacher conferences and, during the culminating event of their EACMSI experience, craft and present their own graduation speeches.
This emphasis on public speaking is a difference maker for our students. Visitors to our school often make note of how well our students present themselves and teachers from Ithaca High School have remarked for many years that EACMSI students stand out from others in this regard. We consider the ability to communicate clearly and with purpose to be an essential life skill.
We end the school year with our entire elementary school immersed in musical theater. The chosen musical is revealed to students who then decide whether to audition for a part or to participate in stage crew or documentary team.
Older children create sets and props in a mini-course and with support from parents, incredible costumes are found / created for each actor.
Our objective is twofold: to offer students the opportunity to practice performing and expressing themselves confidently onstage and to provide a venue for all children to work together towards a common goal.
Through this process school spirit is brought to an all time high as children and adults become enchanted with the magic of the year’s musical. It is a hallmark of the end of the year when students and adults are heard breaking into song at all times of the day!