Friday, January 19, 2018
Education

Chocachatti Elementary MicroSociety gives students real-world lessons

BROOKSVILLE

More than 40 young violinists put their talents on display during a recent MicroSociety performance at Chocachatti Elementary School.

Some of the musicians were kindergarteners; the oldest were fifth-graders.

The violinists were one of many acts during a two-day program to showcase the school's performing arts students.

"Every winter, we have assemblies to show off our performing micros," MicroSociety coordinator Kim McAuley said.

The most recent one included dancers, chorus, dance theater, puppetry, acting, cheerleading, Enchanting Strings (the violinists) and even a routine by the YMCA's after-school program.

Chocachatti is a fine arts magnet school, McAuley noted.

"We have about 56 micros in the school," she said.

Theses are considered the students "jobs," and they go to "work" every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

"They get paid for their work," McAuley said.

They in turn use their micro money to pay for things such as taxes, rent and tuition.

Some of the money is spent on goods or services of micros other than their own. There is a school police force, post office and government. The House of Representatives consists of three students from each grade level and officers.

There is the CES Cafe, the Chocachatti News Network and the popular Sassy Salon for hair, nails and massages. There is also a Chocachatti National Bank.

"I think it's a great idea," McAuley said, "because the kids get real-world activities while working on their academics. They're motivated to come to school."

While many of the societies are evident daily, the performers are not seen very often. They always perform to a packed house.

First-grader Brianne Valentine, 7, particularly enjoyed the puppets, "because they were so cool," she said. Brianne was part of the school's telegram service the first part of this year.

First-grader Madison Seberger, 7, liked "the acting of the Cinderella thing," she said. Madison spent the first semester in Crafty Kids and Twizzling Twirls, the baton-twirling group.

She seems to have been bitten by the acting bug, though.

"I hope I can do the Cinderella thing like they did." she said. "That looked fun."

First-grader Eric Stump, 6, liked "the (puppet show) with the Cookie Monster in it." During the first term, he was in Crafty Kids.

First-grader Lincoln Kuthy, 6, was impressed with the chorus, apparently mostly because his sister is in it. But he sees chorus in his future.

At the end of the school year, students decide which societies might interest them the following year. They produce resumes and interview for jobs. Kindergarteners and first-graders decide with their parents' help. Government jobs are reserved for third- through fifth-graders.

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