The Huntley Farmside
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¦1 Volume 40 No. 41 Your hometown newspaper Thursday Oct. 12,2000 ' 2000 Press-Republican Newspapers 'Jim Valley was here!' A pied piper of the pint-sized visits Huntley elementary schools by Cassie Peterson Huntley correspondent "Jim Valley is coming! Jim Valley is coming!" rang the cry of elementary school children throughout Huntley over the past couple weeks. Musician Jim Valley is proba¬ bly better known to adults as a member of the '60s band "Paul Revere and the Raiders." But to children, Valley is more like a big kid himself. Last week, Valley brought his Rainbow Planet Workshop to entertain and educate children at Kathy Leggee Elementary. The week before, he had been at May Chesak Elementary. Valley spent a week at each school using music to teach children about a wide variety of subjects. Upbeat, energetic songs accom¬ panied by hand movements and dancing inspired the children to get "actively" involved with issues from self-esteem to sav¬ ing the environment. Prior to his arrival, children in each class worked with their teachers to write a poem. When Valley met with the children, he set the poems to music; the chil¬ dren were thrilled to create and perform their own songs. The week culminated with a concert in which the parents joined in singing and dancing alongside their children. Liberty photos by Cassie Peterson Artist-in-resldence Jim Valley (left) signs autographs for enthusias¬ tic participants of Valley's Rainbow Planet workshop. The crowd (above) is high energy as Valley brings his musical message to stu¬ dents, teachers and parents alike. Leggee Elementary students, Jenna Marsh 7, and her sister, Jessica 5, said that they really enjoyed working with Valley. Their mother, Pat Marsh, said, "They were singing his songs all week. I knew a lot of the songs before I got there." Marsh was very impressed with how the children responded to Valley. "The children were just mes¬ merized, that's what really struck me," she said. Valley's playfulness and humor make him irresistible to children. At concerts at both Leggee and Chesak schools, the children were singing and danc¬ ing with uninhibited joy. Even the most reluctant parents could not resist the urge to get up to sing and dance with their chil¬ dren to the old favorite, "Splish Splash." Valley's approach to children is what makes him so appealing. He said rather than talking down to them and telling them what to do, he tells them, "You know a lot already. We can learn from you." He said he gains as much from the children as they do from him, "The wonder and the joy I see in children, it's like a circle." Roseanne Mistro, mother of Chesak Elementary students Daniel and Matthew, said, "It was great that he spent so much time with the children all week. They really liked it." Although 5-year-old Matthew wished to remain off the record, he was still singing the Rainbow Planet songs a week and a half after the concert at Chesak. Chesak Elementary principal Janean Hansel was thrilled to have Jim Valley come to work with the students. She said that the Rainbow Planet workshop was brought to the Huntley schools as part of the artist-in- residency program. The pro¬ gram, which is funded through grants and PTA contributions, allows the schools to affiliate with an artist and work with him or her throughout the year. She said that working with Valley has been a great experience for everyone involved. "He's almost like family now," she said. Hansel is hopeful that Valley will be able to return to Huntley in the spring. She said the Rainbow Planet workshop bene¬ fits the children in many ways. The program helps the schools teach writing and social skills, discipline and self-confidence and cultural and ecological awareness. According to Hansel, the most important aspect of the program is that "it opens up the world to (children). The possibil¬ ities, what the future can be." The children were so busy enjoying themselves, they may not have realized how much they were learning. After a week of fun and songs, the children left the concert with happy memo¬ ries and perhaps a new CD in hand. Sam Marcuccelli, a kinder- gartner at Leggee Elementary said, after all the fun he had: "The hardest part was going home."
|Title||The Huntley Farmside|
|Creator||The Huntley Farmside|
|Coverage||Huntley, Illinois, United States|
|Description||Weekly Newspaper from the Huntley Area Public Library Collection|
|Rights||This material may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code).|
|Publisher||This Collection was digitized and loaded into CONTENTdm by OCLC Preservation Service Center (Bethlehem, PA) for the Huntley Area Public Library.|
|Source||Reproduction of library's print newspaper archives|