Grand Avenue Drama Students Get a Taste of Broadway Life

Students interested in participating in Grand Avenue Middle School's Drama Club were invited to attend a workshop on Oct. 20 at the school with Broadway performer Leo Ash Evens.

Evens, who was recently in “Shuffle Along,” is also a coach for aspiring performers heading into a performing arts college program. Over the summer, he presented at a workshop attended by Rebecca Levy, the club's director.  

“After hearing him speak at the event, I knew my students would enjoy and benefit from his insight,” said Levy.   

He shared audition tales and advice with the middle school students as they asked questions about how to deal with disappointment and calm nerves, realities for all performers. Some students even performed for Evens and received feedback on their performances.

“Any opportunity for our students to work with professionals in the performing industry is a valuable experience,” said Cheryl Fontana, district director of the fine and performing arts.

The students were thrilled for the chance to meet and interact with a theater professional.

 “This made my life,” said eighth-grader Kacie McKeever.

ENL Program Carves Out Time for Friends and Fun

Students in the English as a New Language (ENL) program in the district came together on Oct. 19 to enjoy an iconic fall activity.

Students from Grand Avenue Middle School, Merrick Avenue Middle School and Sanford H. Calhoun High School enjoyed a trip to Hicks Nurseries in Westbury to select pumpkin that they would later carve.

Including middle schoolers in some activities is important because it helps build a sense of community, as the students will continue their studies at Calhoun if they remain in the ENL program.

“There are a lot of non-verbal skills being used here so all students can participate actively,” explained Enrique Montes, chairperson of the Department of World Languages and ENL.

The pumpkins will be used as decorations in the program’s upcoming haunted house on Nov. 3-4, which is organized by ENL teacher Heather Glick.