Tuesday, March 19, 2013
How about a hot dog and a side of history?
That’s exactly what a group of Alston Middle School students and their families had for dinner recently.
The occasion was an informal recital by AMS History Teacher Pren Woods’ students at popular local eatery Perfectly Franks. The idea, said Woods, is to not only reward students for their hard work in his classes but also to give them a forum to show off their knowledge in a unique way.
“We wanted to have a special night, in a place that’s family friendly,” Woods said. “Perfectly Frank’s seemed like the perfect fit and they graciously agreed to help us. It’s a great partnership.”
The idea is fairly simple: the children and their families come to the restaurant and enjoy a meal at a special price, then the children perform songs, dance routines, and other such methods of expression to showcase the material they have learned. In this case, the unit they had studied was ancient Egypt, Woods said. Except for a traditional spiritual song, “Wade in the Water,” which the children performed at the beginning of the evening, all the songs were arranged and choreographed by the students, Woods said.
“What’s cool about these performances is that I usually do all the choreography and lyrics,” Woods noted. “These students created their own music videos.”
Parents of the students seemed very pleased with the evening and with Woods’ approach to teaching.
“He is very unique in that he really tries to appeal to all learning styles for children,” Julialove Johnson said. Her daughter, Junelle, is in one of Woods’ classes and performed that evening. “I have been very impressed with him – and it’s not easy to impress me.”
Perfectly Frank’s owner Perry Cuda said he is glad to help out; in fact, one of his children is a student in one of Woods’ classes.
“I think it’s great – he (Woods) really reaches those kids,” Cuda said. “We’re happy we can help.”
Woods and his students have performed twice at Perfectly Frank’s and plan to do more, he said.
“We’ll be back,” he said.