'Honor Our Elders' project 2009-2010

    CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved in the Honor Our Elders Project!!! 
    The songs were great, the concert and the stories are a meaningful gift to the interviewees. 
    Thank you, students, for treating the project with dignity, seriousness and respect. 
    You did a great job!
    Thank you, Elders, for sharing your stories!
    Thank you, teachers, staff and volunteers, for all of your contributations to make the project a success!
    Thank you, Two of a Kind, for helping with the songwriting and for a great theme song!
    Thank you, Lion Foundation, for funding this project!

    SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE FOR DOWNLOADABLE recordings of the songs!  All songs composed by Hoover Elementary students except "Tell Me Your Story", words and music by David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans and "Lion Pride", words and music by Roxanne Dixon. 

    Here are some excerpted notes from those in attendance:  

    from Superintendent Kindler:  "Kudos to all involved in an outstanding performance on February 25, “Honor our Elders.”  Many thanks are extended to Roxanne Dixon, our Hoover Elementary staff, Clyde and Barb McGeary, our participating elders and The Lion Foundation for a truly amazing night in which the oral histories of our elders came alive via the eloquent voices and actions of our 4thand 5th grade students.  It was an experience to be remembered!"

    from our school board president Barb LaBine:  "I just can't stop thinking about last night's outstanding performance and want to thank the Hoover teachers who integrated this creative program with music, writing, relationships and our beloved community elders.  The students (and proud parents) are so lucky to have special teachers who go above and beyond.  Big thanks to our strong community and volunteers who made it possible despite the snow.  It was such a memorable evening for young and old."

    from HS teacher Lydia Keller:
    I am so glad I got to experience the concert last night.  You have taught the children to sing clearly and to enunciate beautifully.  The melodies were all different and cleverly designed to fit the words.  And the words...wonderful! 

    from a music teacher in another district:
    "...I loved how you involved the students in others ways other than singing...movement, recorder, percussion, guitar/clarinet....it made all the pieces very special.  I liked all the pieces but I thought "Dear Audrey" was extremely touching.  I also enjoyed the different styles for each piece.  Ending with the upbeat 'country' style piece was fun.  Again your students were very fortunate to have had this rewarding experience.  We can always learn from the past and children certainly can learn the importance of honoring the life experiences of respected community members.  Bravo!"

    from some 4th and 5th grade parents:

    " the program last night was wonderful, we really enjoyed it. We were very impressed with all that went into it.  The kids did an awesome job!!!!!" 

    " Thank you so much for undertaking the "Honor Your Elders" project.  I thought it was an amazing piece of work. The concert itself was so touching and the way that the elders were honored was truly beautiful.  It also gave the children such an opportunity to look to the older people in their lives to not only hear but really appreciate their stories. This opportunity gave our family a new appreciation for the older people in our lives."

    " I just wanted to commend you on a wonderful performance last Thursday evening.  What a joy it was to hear our children sing songs about their elders...  The children took full ownership of their songs and it showed!  I have never heard them sing like that before...and we have been to a lot of concerts (our oldest is in sixth grade).  This concept is so counter-culture.  Thank you for echoing what we are teaching in our home, to honor and respect our elders who are full of wisdom and truth.  This concert was such a blessing!"



    The Honor Our Elders project is an oral history, story-writing, song-writing, illustrating project.  Beginning in September, fourth and fifth grade students interviewed older neighbors, community members and family members. 

    In language arts and visual arts class students wrote individual stories and drew illustrations based on their interview.  Each music class conducted an in-depth group interview of one individual and worked as a group, with the assistance of guest artists “Two of a Kind,” David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans (http://twoofakind.com/), to compose an original song based on that individual’s story. 

    The project culminated in a February 25 concert performance of these eight original songs and a commissioned theme song, “Tell Me Your Story,” as well as the publication of storybooks and audio recordings of the songs. 

    Middle School Video Club students joined the project to create a documentary film featuring interview highlights. 


    Project Calendar:  
    Sept. 28-Oct. 2 Initial Contacts
    Oct. 5-16 Individual Interviews
    Oct. 19-Nov. 20 Story-Writing Work Time
    Oct. 26-Nov. 6 Music Class Interviews for Songwriting Material
    Nov. 9 Songwriting begins
    Nov. 19 & 20 Two of a Kind Songwriter Residency
    Dec. 1 Illustrating begins
    Dec. 1 MS Video Club project begins
    Dec. 10 Two of a Kind Residency Day 3
    Dec. 10 Two of a Kind Community/Family Concert*
    *sponsored by the Elementary PTO, 6:30 p.m., Sutliff Family Auditorium, CH High School
    Feb. 25, Honor Our Elders Culminating Concert

    Thank you to the Lion Foundation for their very generous support of this project!

    Also thank you so much to the Elementary Parent Teacher Organization for sponsoring the Two of a Kind community/family concert on December 10!

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