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River Grove kids shine as luminaries

Students put on special presentation about famous figures


by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Amaiya Lee puts together a presentation about Shirley Temple.Harry Houdini, Gene Kelly and Benjamin Franklin showed up at River Grove Elementary School last week — in spirit, at least.

A cavalcade of fifth-graders disguised as famous folk — including Judy Garland, Bob Marley, Dian Fossey and the Greek poet Sappho — stepped on stage for the school’s traditional Noon of the Notables. Poster boards with pictures and descriptions of famous folks’ lives were set atop tables, and adoring relatives were packed in among the displays to watch the presentations.

A parade of students crossed the stage, each offered up a quote or an informational tidbit about their chosen historical figure. by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Mika Konicke delivers a presentation on the life of Maria Von Trapp.Johnny Cash was there, as well as Steve Jobs and Frida Kahlo.

Claire Aspeitia took on Kahlo for her project, quoting the iconic Mexican painter as saying: “I do not paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

Claire, who wore bright flowers in her hair and a long, colorful dress, said she chose to research the self-portrait-painting abstract artist because she also is of Mexican heritage.

“I learned about all of her struggles in life, her injuries,” Claire said. “Before, I knew nothing about her; I just liked her paintings.”

Tyler Blake, smartly attired in a black shirt with frames to match, was one of two Jobs presenters, and he quoted the late co-founder of Apple as saying: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Cody Taylor studied JFK for his project.

Tyler said he picked Jobs out of respect for the late entrepreneur’s talent with electronics. “I like it how he was able to invent cool stuff during his lifetime,” Tyler said.

Tyler’s mom, Yumiko Blake, said her son did a good job acting as Jobs, with a clever gesture polishing off his onstage appearance.

“I like that he did the pose at the end,” said Blake, bringing one hand to her chin as Jobs did in one of his appearances on the cover of Time magazine.

Tyler’s imitation inspired appreciative chuckles from the audience, and other kids’ performances also brought out smiles. Formerly called “Night of the Notables” because it was held in the evening, the event was moved to the afternoon during school hours to allow more kids to attend, and the name changed to reflect that.

Fifth-grade teacher Mike McCarroll said Noon of the Notables combines writing, research and aesthetics for the display. “It’s a writing project that can entertain and inform,” he said.


By Jillian Daley
Reporter
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