The Riverside School Kicks Up Their Heels with FOOTLOOSE!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851

(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 592-3079

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Lyndonville, VT – The preparations for the yearly Riverside School musical have begun. This year the 6th-8th graders are producing Footloose! The show will be on Friday, March 29th at 7:00 PM and Saturday, March 30th at 2:00 PM at the Lyndon Institute Auditorium. Admission is by donation and the performance is appropriate for all ages.

Footloose! is about Ren McCormack, a charming Chicago teenager who moves to a small town in Oklahoma called Bomont. Ren is dismayed when he discovers the local law against dancing, put in place by the church’s reverend. Ren, along with other friends, help to convince town leaders to permit dancing in town.

Until Riverside’s performance, the middle school students are buzzing with excitement as they work hard to make this musical production possible. The work starts with electives that take place twice a week. The students participate in publicity, sets, props, costuming, choreography, and rehearsals. This lasts for six weeks before “Play Week”, an entire week with no classes, completely devoted to the show and ending with the final performances.

Eighth grader Maren Giese says, “Play Week can be very stressful, but it’s also fun because you get to work a lot with your peers.”

In the Publicity Elective, students are tasked with designing and creating the poster and t-shirts, as well as spreading the word through advertisements, letters, and, yes, writing press releases (including this one)! The Sets Elective plans, builds, and paints the scenery and backdrops, while props creates and collects the objects seen on stage. Together, they set the scene and create the town of Bomont!

In the Costuming Elective, the students are busy gathering fabrics, cutting and sewing, and making the characters of Footloose! come to life. This group decided to set the production in the 1980s and is having a lot of fun using the bright fashions from that era.

While all of this is going on, certain students are called every day to practice their scenes, songs, and choreography with music teacher Lydia Ham and English teacher and director Peter Sahlin. They accomplish a lot in the just twelve rehearsals before Play Week.  

On opening night, the students finally get to show off all of their hard work. Seventh grader Donovan Randall says, “it’s very stressful, but once the curtain opens all the stress goes away and you know you will do great!”

Music by Tom Snow. Lyrics by Dean Pitchford. Stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. Based on the original screenplay. A part of the R&H Getting to Know collection.

Members of the Publicity Elective for Riverside’s production of  Footloose!  work on attracting an audience with direct mailings to trustees, grandparents, and prospective families of the school. The group has also designed a poster, written a public service announcement for the radio, and promoted the show on social media. Pictured are 7th graders Lacey Patoine and Donovan Randall.

Members of the Publicity Elective for Riverside’s production of Footloose! work on attracting an audience with direct mailings to trustees, grandparents, and prospective families of the school. The group has also designed a poster, written a public service announcement for the radio, and promoted the show on social media. Pictured are 7th graders Lacey Patoine and Donovan Randall.

Guest Speaker in Celebration of Martin Luther King Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT 05851
(802) 626-8552

Contact: Mel Reis (802) 745-8136

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The Riverside School was pleased to welcome Reverend Doctor Robert Potter as a guest speaker in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. Kindergarten through eighth grade students enjoyed stories told by Rev. Potter who was a friend of Dr. King. Rev. Potter shared his experiences of working with Dr. King and how he was influenced by Dr. King’s humble and kind personality along with his passion for human rights and social justice.

Rev. Potter was a student leader of the civil rights movement at Earlham College and Yale Divinity School. He is now a resident of Wheelock and the former pastor of the Peacham Congregational Church. He has been invited to offer the benediction at the inauguration of three Vermont governors.

Riverside School Mythology Day 2019

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851

(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 745-8136

Riverside 3rd grader Rosa Patoine presented herself as Medusa in The Riverside School’s morning assembly as part of the school’s annual Mythology Day tradition.  In the background are other 3rd graders (l-r): Gabe Adams as Mars, Sawyer Daffinrud as King Midas, Clint Heinrich as Atlas, and Quinn Amidon as Polyphemus.

Riverside 3rd grader Rosa Patoine presented herself as Medusa in The Riverside School’s morning assembly as part of the school’s annual Mythology Day tradition.  In the background are other 3rd graders (l-r): Gabe Adams as Mars, Sawyer Daffinrud as King Midas, Clint Heinrich as Atlas, and Quinn Amidon as Polyphemus.

Formerly called “Saturnalia,” a Roman winter holiday, Mythology Day includes costumes, brief speeches in front of students, faculty and parents, and activities connected to classical mythology led by 8th graders.  Started in 1981 when the school began, Mythology Day celebrates the school’s classical curriculum incorporating Latin, critical thinking, and connections to modern languages.

Riverside Students Connect with Olympic Athletes during Biography Fair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Riverside School
30 Lily Pond Road
Lyndonville, VT  05851

(802) 626-8552
Contact: Mel Reis, (802) 745-8136

           RIVERSIDE STUDENTS CONNECT WITH OLYMPIC ATHLETES
                                        DURING BIOGRAPHY FAIR


Lyndonville, VT – The annual Biography Fair held at the Riverside School is a unique opportunity to involve the entire student body (K-8) in active learning where each student chooses an influential individual to research. Older students present their learning in a variety of ways: creative visual displays of maps, timelines, or symbolic crests; articulate and well-prepared oral presentations; and organized and revised research papers. Younger students are engaged in more developmentally appropriate ways, such as class bulletin boards or individual informative posters.

Students prepare formal presentations performed in front of faculty, peers, staff, parents, and grandparents. They are encouraged to create costumes, props, and makeup to fully communicate their knowledge of the person they are portraying. The entire school day is dedicated to the presentations that occur throughout the Riverside campus.

Social studies and history teachers integrate the biography topics into their year-long curricula. The 3rd graders do autobiographies, 4th graders present Vermonters, the 6th graders research people from the ancient world, and 8th graders choose to learn about modern, international reformers.

“One evening the thought came to me that it would be such a cool experience to connect students with their biography fair subject who was special to Vermont (if that person is still alive), so I began reaching out to people,” said Riverside 4th grade teacher, Laryssa Fortier.

Two 4th grade students, Sophia Bunnell and Brooklyn Hibshman, were very interested in connecting with influential Vermonters.

Fortier wrote to the US Ski Team’s alpine press officer, Megan Harrod, in hopes of having Olympic Gold Medalist and Burke Mountain Academy alumna Mikaela Shiffrin answer Sofia’s questions. Harrod responded immediately and arranged for Shiffrin to answer her questions via a Facebook Live video.

The entire class, along with Sofia’s mother, sister, and Head of School, Michelle Ralston, gathered on October 18th and watched as Shiffrin answered all of Sofia’s questions, live from Europe. Shiffrin shared information about her childhood, setbacks and successes, and gave Sofia advice about working hard and putting all your love and passion into what you do.

Brooklyn reached out to professional mountain biker Lea Davison, also an Olympian living in Vermont, who took the time to email her back with thoughtful answers to all her research questions. Brooklynn eventually met with Davidson who provided an autographed poster.

“It was wonderful to see the students’ hard work pay off during Biography Fair as they sat in front of their audience dressed in character and shared the extensive amount of information they had learned,” said Fortier. “This was certainly a special experience for Sofia and Brooklynn, and the entire class, because they saw how research can come alive and take you to fascinating places. I plan to continue reaching out to more Vermonters as the year goes on to have them come in and share their story with the class.”

Riverside 4th grade students watch Mikaela Shiffrin’s live Facebook feed from Europe as part of the school’s Biography Fair. Pictured are front (l-r) Molly Aeberbard, Esme Cobb, Kingston Newell, Sylvan Balcom, and back (l-f) Gabi Young, Sofia Bunnell, Brooklynn Hibshman, Pearl Arberbard, Lyric Golden, and Julia Spence.

Riverside 4th grade students watch Mikaela Shiffrin’s live Facebook feed from Europe as part of the school’s Biography Fair. Pictured are front (l-r) Molly Aeberbard, Esme Cobb, Kingston Newell, Sylvan Balcom, and back (l-f) Gabi Young, Sofia Bunnell, Brooklynn Hibshman, Pearl Arberbard, Lyric Golden, and Julia Spence.