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Circus of the kids

Sitting on the fence
A new column by Michèle Noiseux

Photo : Nathalie Quilliams

Invite 83 enthusiastic, energetic girls and boys to show off under the Big Top and what do you get ? Circus of the Kids, of course…

Circus of the Kids comes to a school – all the way from Florida – and transforms the regular academic program into a “Circus School” for a brief period. The troupe brings everything from soup to nuts : costumes, mats, high wire props, a popcorn, t-shirts, even a sewing machine !

This year, Circus of the kids came to Butler Elementary School in Bedford in May. This vibrant troupe of 10 expert circus trainers and performers, headed by their dynamic leader, Bruce Pfeffer, put 83 kids through their rigorous paces twice a day, six days a week for two weeks. The end result ? Staging of a fantastic and exciting display of acrobatics the likes of which many of us have never seen ! Tiny tots from kindergarten, their costumes all a-glitter, tumbled across the mats ; funambulists and aerialists pivoted overhead while cyclers and skaters zigged and zagged across the floor ; globe trotters and artists of the balancing beam all came forward in their colourful circus attire and dazzled us all !

“This unique event was brought to our community by way of a grant offered by Indigo Books through its “love-of-reading” program created especially to foster literacy in schools throughout the country. This year’s theme/project was the circus, and the entire school participated in cross-curricular activities related to this initiative”, explained Renalee Gore, Principal of Butler Elementary School, and the woman whose inspiration and dedication stand behind this unusual experience.

The success of this entire venture is due, in large part, to behind-the-scenes work of a fabulous organizing committee and a veritable army of volunteers whose fund-raising efforts brought the per-child cost of this activity down from $150 to $35. They lent their enthusiastic support by housing and feeding the Florida troupe, doing advance publicity work, taking care of the kids, cleaning and so much more. They truly deserve kudos and thanks for multiple jobs well done ! !

Finally, CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to all the students for a brilliant, entertaining performance that enriched us all ! And BRAVO ! to the 14 kids from Saint-Armand who also made us proud…

Comment from a member of the audience following one of the shows :

“There aren’t enough adjectives to express what we saw today. It was awesome ! Here’s proof that you can get the best out of kids with love, patience, and support and… it takes them away from computer games and life on the couch…”

If you’d like to read all about Circus of the Kids, here’s a (Web) sight for all eyes ! Go to :

www.circusofthekids.com

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