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Winding Waters second-graders portray history through Star Wax Museum

Paul Amarello, left, listens as Winding Waters second-grader Eva Newhall talks about the life of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, a pioneer and reformer in American medicine. Eva posed last week as a figure in the Star Wax Museum, which brought to life significant figures in history.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Paul Amarello, left, listens as Winding Waters second-grader Eva Newhall talks about the life of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, a pioneer and reformer in American medicine. Eva posed last week as a figure in the Star Wax Museum, which brought to life significant figures in history.

WEEKI WACHEE

The real-looking wax-like figures were good renditions of historical characters, if pint-sized. They were really Winding Waters second-graders, who lined the stage to teach visitors about the persons they portrayed.

"The Star Wax Museum is actually the culminating activity, once lots of learning has taken place," said second-grade teacher Josephine Maher. "Our class covers many state-mandated standards along the way. This wax museum gives me the opportunity to be creative, integrating standards from every area — reading math, writing, social studies, science and art, just to name a few."

Lacey Barton, 8, was dressed like Clara Barton, who, she said, is related to her.

"She's my great, great, great-aunt," Lacey said.

One thing Lacey said she learned about Barton was "she had a sister that had to be locked up in one of the rooms, because she had a contagious disease."

Lacey said Barton started out as a teacher, but turned to nursing later. "She opened a hospital for the warriors."

Kaitlyn Kennedy, 8, portrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She, too, said she was related to her historic figure. "She's my great, great, great-aunt," Kaitlyn said.

"I didn't know that she let women vote," she said. "I didn't know she was related to me, and when I found out, I was so happy."

The students did not learn about just one character. They learned from each other, and all the other Winding Waters classes were invited to come see the children, too.

As wax-like figures, the children were expected to stand still with their heads down, until a visitor pressed paper buttons on their shoulders. At that point, they became animated and told their stories.

Adults learned things as well. Magda Padilla, whose nephew, David Ortiz, was dressed as Dwight D. Eisenhower, said, "I love it. It's very creative. It's very entertaining and I've learned a lot."

The children were treated to a special cast party the next day that included breakfast and lunch. Maher knew something was up, but parents handled it. Jeanne DeLuca, or Maher's Star Mom, volunteered to coordinate.

"My job is to organize and host an after party," she said. "It's actually called, 'Hollywood, Red Carpet, Oscars Show.' "

She was willing to do this, she said, to be involved with the children and for Maher.

"It's the least I can do for what she does for the children. They think she's their mom from 9 to 3," DeLuca said.

The lunch was catered by the restaurant DeLuca and her husband, Umberto DeLuca, own — LaBella Napoli Italian Restaurant.

The Maher Stars were as follow: Lacey Barton as Clara Barton, Logan Cook as Abraham Lincoln, Victoria Dardiz as Amelia Earhart, Umberto DeLuca as George Washington, Andre El Yamani as John F. Kennedy, Benjamin Gary as Orville Wright, Tabatha Hernandez as Susan B. Anthony, Kaitlyn Kennedy as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eva Newhall as Elizabeth Blackwell, David Ortiz as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jordan Reed as Harry S. Truman, Deborah Rydbom as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Autumn Shea-Hamm as Mother Teresa, Lucy Talley as Betsy Ross, Brady Walton as Henry Ford, Daqyguen Williams as Martin Luther King, Shelby Young as Sally Ride and Emiliano Zapata-Chavez as Alexander Graham Bell.

Winding Waters second-graders portray history through Star Wax Museum 02/29/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 3:11pm]
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