At EACMSI, skills in performance and public speaking are practiced in every classroom throughout the school year with the goal of giving children the skill 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 in front of peers, 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 give lessons to the entire school community as they lead their younger peers on United Nations Day and Martin Luther King Day. Middle School students gain further mastery of their ability to present themselves as they lead their own Parent/Teacher conferences and, during the culminating event of their EAC experience, when they craft and present their own Graduation Speech.
We are very proud of this emphasis on public speaking and visitors to our school often make note of how well our students present themselves. In fact, teachers at Ithaca High School have remarked for many years that EAC students stand out from others in this regard. We consider the ability to communicate clearly and with purpose to be an essential life skill.
Our most beloved event, the EAC musical, brings our school year to an end. Founder Andrea Riddle loved musical theater as a child and brought this passion with her to EAC. Each Spring a new musical is chosen and Junior and Upper Level children are given the opportunity, if they wish, to audition for a part in the play. Older children create sets and props in a mini-course and with the support of 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 on a stage and to provide a venue for all children to work together towards a common goal. We expect each child to support every member of the cast and to bring his/her best self to the experience. 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!