Our Holidays for Heroes Project was a blast!!! It was a carefully-coordinated effort to celebrate some of the kid-selected hometown heroes of our community: Police, Firefighters, Senior Citizens, and the folks at Arts Together. Students were placed into four groups, decided on a way to honor their heroes, and began preparations for the celebration beyond all celebrations! After 4 weeks of brainstorming, planning, cooking/sorting/sewing/practicing, we closed things out with 4 individual Exhibition Days:
HEROES #1: HOMETOWN FIREFIGHTERS
Our group decided we’d prepare a “HOT” meal (complete with dessert) for the local firefighters that service our school’s area. Did you know that Firestation #5 is one of only two firestations left in Raleigh that still has a fire pole that the firefighters slide down? Mr. Ethan tried his best to get the firefighters to let him slide down the pole, but something about him being a “liability” and of course the answer was a resounding “no!”. Oh well. There was also a 1950 Firetruck at the station, which was really cool! We told the Firefighters that we appreciate all of their hard work to keep our community safe…
HEROES #2: LOCAL POLICEMEN AND WOMEN
To celebrate and honor our local Police, our group made goody bags with healthy snacks, Gatorade, and hand-made Christmas Ornaments! A few of the policemen at the station gave us a presentation and talked to us about their jobs, their uniforms, and even their training! Our trip was very personal and meaningful to Ms. Zobel, whose brother was an undercover officer who was killed in the line of duty 15 years ago. We told the policemen “Thank you for your service”. They seemed to be very excited about our gifts and asked to put photos of us up on their social media website! Hopefully we’ll get to see them again next year.
HEROES #3: ARTS TOGETHER
Arts Together is a nonprofit in the City of Raleigh with year-round arts education programs that encompass visual art, dance, music and drama in an integrated format for toddlers through adults. Arts Together and Dynamic have a very special collaborative relationship that has been formed over the last 5 years, where AT instructors come to offer dance activities to our students once a week in 8-week sessions during both the fall and spring terms and we send a group of Dynamic Dancers to participate in their Rainbow Dance troupe each year. Our students see the Arts Together staff as heroes because they promote Arts Education to ALL folks within our community – including the underprivileged and other marginalized populations. To celebrate them, our very own Dynamic artisans designed and made hot cocoa jars, ornaments, and beautifully fragrant rice/lavender filled heating pads for the Arts Together dance instructors. When we delivered our wares, the staff were moved to tears by our efforts and were taken aback by the $100 Panera gift card that we also included from our budget. They were so proud of the poster we made them that they hung it in the dance studio on display for all to see!
HEROES #4: OUR SENIOR CITIZENS
Dynamic thinks Senior Citizens “Rock the Ages”! There is so much they can teach us and can wisely guide us through our lives if we let them. So what could we do to celebrate these seasoned heroes that have seen pretty much everything except put on a rockin’ Christmas music concert in celebration of the holidays??? We worked so hard choosing songs and practicing the musical instrument and vocal parts… four weeks of intense daily practices, memorizing lines, practicing instrumental parts, and pulling all the parts together into one cohesive act. And man! Did our hard work pay off! At Spring Arbor, our concert definitely had those old folks rocking around the Christmas Tree! Check us out in our Santa regalia:
Many thanks to all of the local “Hometown Heroes” out there that serve us in so many different ways. While we couldn’t acknowledge all of you this year, please know that we do see you and your contributions each and every day. We look forward to another chance to celebrate some more Dynamic heroes next year!!!