Leighton Elementary Hosts Annual Arts Festival Leighton Elementary Hosts Annual Arts Festival
It was an amazing sight to see nearly the entire Leighton community pack the hallways and gymnasium during the annual Arts Festival last Thursday, March 23. An entire community of students, parents, relatives, teachers, staff, and administrators came together to support and celebrate the beauty within each and every Leighton student. The Arts Festival is about celebrating culture, talent, expressiveness, and creativity. The hallways of Leighton Elementary were adorned with students’ brightly colored artwork from the past several months. Each grade levels’ work was showcased along the halls, from kindergarten’s life-sized self portraits to sixth grade’s detailed two-point perspective drawings. Ms Gorham, the art teacher at Leighton, organized a scavenger hunt for families which required careful study of each art piece as they looked for hidden clues. For 25 minutes the packed hallways were buzzing with excited energy as young artists pointed out their works to proud family members.
The night’s main event took place in a packed gymnasium. Each grade level had prepared a performance piece to showcase some form of storytelling. There were stories of colonial America with demonstrations of some dances and activities from that time period. There were stories of India & Japan with authentic dances from those cultures. Fifth grade paid tribute to the sports culture of the world with a choreographed basketball-themed dance routine. The event culminated with all students, K - 6, silently performing We Are The World in Sign Language.
To be a part of such a heartwarming experience is a joy not to be taken for granted. Sixth grade teacher Mrs. Laurel Artz knows this all too well as this was her last Arts Festival. Soon to be retired, Mrs. Artz has been a part of every Arts Festival since the first one in 1986. She has a deep passion for teaching students to appreciate diverse cultures and dance. This festival has always been a great opportunity for her to turn that passion into a performance and bring people together in the spirit of sharing the experience. She was honored by Ms. Shore, principal at Leighton, who recognized her 34 years of service to the district. Upon the event’s conclusion, Mrs. Artz was invited to be the first to exit, ceremoniously passing by her final class of sixth graders as they eagerly waited in line to each give her a flower and say “thank you.”