| In The Sherwood Park News|
Here is a reprint of an article from The Sherwood Park News written by Amy Dyck. Thanks go out to Amy for the story. Here is the link to the original article. (external link)
Character counts at local Catholic school
Long-time children's entertainer Charlotte Lirette presents positive musical message at Father Kenneth Kearns
Friday March 07, 2008
Singing about positive self-worth, strong character and a compassion for others is all in a day's work for children's music entertainer Charlotte Lirette.
Last Wednesday, Lirette put on one of her popular, interactive shows at Father Kenneth Kearns Catholic elementary school (FKK) for the entire staff and student body.
"It looks at positive self-worth, fostering compassion, life skills etiquette, language appreciation, positive choices, co-operative play, improving social skills, so it's touching on the bullying issues, tolerance and character development," said Deri Levang, student services facilitator and school counsellor at FKK and the co-ordinator of the event.
Levang explained that Lirette, a long-time musician and entertainer, focuses on positive life values and writes and plays music that emphasizes a special-needs focus.
"We tend to have a fairly large population of special needs students at our school," Levang said, sharing that they conduct an inclusive program for all students at their school. "We run a special program called Brighter Beginnings and that's for pre-schoolers with developmental delays."
With songs, such as "I'm Not Perfect" and "Love Can Build a Bridge," Lirette builds a positive message for children, while still entertaining them.
The one-hour interactive performance with the students presented a sign-language lesson, a Spanish-language lesson, an etiquette lesson on manners and an anti-teasing message.
Lirette included sporadic messages to the children about being proud of their differences and learning to tolerate and accept one another in spite of those differences.
Levang first heard about the musical show when a group of students and teachers attended a session by Lirette at another school last year.
"They loved it, so we wanted to put it on for the whole school," she said.
Lirette played a variety of music with a multitude of instruments, and even involved student volunteers when she could.
All in all, the performance seemed to resonate with FKK's student body, as they danced and clapped enthusiastically throughout the show, and left the school gymnasium talking excitedly about what they had just learned.