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Third-graders proudly declared, “Look what we can do”

Third-grade students perform for fellow students, parents and friends on January 31. (Photo courtesy of BRE Yearbook Crew.)

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Valerie Miller and BRE Yearbook Crew

Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) third-grade students demonstrated they are diversely talented and smart. These lively and active eight- and nine-year-old students have been honing songs, dances, art and other skills for months prior to their performances. Some have been waiting and practicing much, much longer. They finally got the chance to shine on January 31. Fellow students, parents and friends packed the gym with anticipation to watch the show.

Visual art adorned the main hallway and created the stage backdrop. Huge letters and artwork, all created by the students, left no question about their abilities. The oversized message spelled “Look what we can do.” The surrounding artwork illustrated skills and interests of the kids.

Cathy Deneault, BRE music teacher, summed up the performance, “The show was a collaboration between music, PE and art, and was about different ways you can be smart. The kids sang and performed physical routines about being book smart, body smart, creatively smart, people smart and self smart.”

Felix throwing his diabolo high in the air at the third-grade performance. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Miller.)

Felix M. sat in the audience for the annual third-grade performance five years ago. He watched his older brother’s diabolo (Chinese yo-yo tossing game, consisting of a two-headed top and two batons connected with a string) performance and knew he wanted to have the same opportunity. This year when his dream came true, Felix didn’t tell his parents. They were stunned as they watched their son and his classmates. “We had no idea he was practicing this [diabolo throwing] for the show. We could not believe the fun he was having with it and how high he was throwing it in the gym. There was a collective gasp the first time, and my husband and I thought, ‘oh, this could end badly.’ Much to our surprise, Mrs. Gutierrez had him well prepared. He caught it that time and many more during the show” said his mother, Valerie.

Teachers Tim Ryckman (art), Cathy Deneault, and Ronda Gutierrez (PE) are credited by parents for the broad scope and quality of the performance. “I’m so grateful to Mrs. Deneault, Mrs. Gutierrez and Mr. Ryckman for putting together an incredible show with the third-graders. It was an upbeat, energetic show that did a fabulous job of showcasing the amazing talents this incredible group of kids have. It was fun to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, as they beamed with pride during the performance,” said Jen Taylor. Taylor’s daughter appeared in the performance as Willy Wonka.

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