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VIDEO: CER team comes together for 'Spooktacular' literacy

Staff from an Oswego City School District elementary school is helping students get into the Halloween spirit by creating a short picture book on video as part of an initiative to boost literacy.

The team at Charles E. Riley (CER) Elementary School came together ahead of the spooky-themed holiday to sing and collaborate on a video that features artwork and the song “The Ghost of John,” an old, well-known round.

“Traditionally we sing this round in general music as it works on several different high level musical skills in a fun way,” said CER K-6 Choral/General Music teacher Ceara Windhausen, who came up with the idea for a collaborative video for the Elementary literacy initiative “Spooktacular.”

Windhausen wrote the musical arrangement for the video along with the sound, mixing and video editing.

The beautiful artwork that can be seen in the video is original artwork created by CER Art teacher Kelly Jackson, a Spanish translation was created by CER fifth-grade teacher Nestor Aviles and CER sixth-grade teacher Jessica Anderson provided ASL interpretation. Additional vocals were contributed by CER sixth-grade team members Chris Trapasso and Teanna Smith.

“The Ghost of John” dates back to the time of the plague in Europe, however there is another version that comes from the hills of Kentucky, according to Windhausen, but since much Appalachian folklore comes from old Europe, both may be true in part.

Windhausen said she thought the idea would work well with the literacy initiative as there are only a few lines so readers of all levels can have success.

“My goal with this collaborative project was getting as many kids access as possible by providing the text in a variety of ways,” she added.

The video in its entirety can be viewed below:

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