March 18, 2015
By Jennifer Ferguson
New arts and humanities programs are underway at Blaine Elementary School thanks to a grant from the Southeast Chamber of Commerce. According to first year music teacher, Erin Geisler, the grant which was awarded in January was for $1,250 and has been used to purchase xylophones for students in kindergarten through 8th grade to use.
“A requirement of the grant was that it had to sponsor new programs,” said Geisler. “Most students have never played anything relative to an instrument like this. It’s important for them to learn and recognize the layout of a keyboard.”
With the funds, Geisler was able to purchase five xylophones. However, xylophones aren’t the only instrument being introduced to BES students. A recent donation of plastic buckets from Lowe’s Home Improvement in Ashland, KY will serve to help primary students learn how to keep a beat while middle school students can focus on learning more complex rhythms.
“They can be used for so many different things,” said Geisler “From pop music to Bach.”
Geisler, a recent Eastern Kentucky University graduate, also directed students in the first school play in December and hopes to soon have them creating their own instruments.
“I want them to learn about and create instruments from the Appalachian heritage such as a dulcimer,” said Geisler. “We’ve used things such as beans and cans to make shakers.”
Different styles of dance are also something that Geisler hopes to focus on with students. Through coordinating with the school’s physical education teacher, third grade students have already been learning different styles of folk dancing.
“It’s exciting to see them learn and watch them grow,” said Geisler. “Most students have no experience or knowledge of these instruments or dance styles prior to music class, so it’s been fun to help them experience those things.”
BES students win Conservation poster and essay contests
Blaine Elementary Students were recently awarded at the Lawrence County Conservation Districts’ Annual Art/Writing Awards Banquet. This years’ topic was Protect Kentucky’s Soil. BES also received a plaque for having 100% participation in the contest, an award they’ve received for several years. And teacher Sharon Fields was named as outstanding teacher of the year.
Poster Winners Essay Winners