Library to host wild life program for children

Posted Feb 01, 2010 @ 06:14 PM
Have you seen wild animals in Somerville, such as hawks, falcons, wild turkeys, songbirds, skunks, possums, raccoons and rabbits? Many of us have seen at least a few of these wild animals in our city, or even in our backyards. Do your children ever wonder what these animals do or how they go about their lives in a busy urban setting? If so, bring them to the Somerville Public Library for a series of workshops where they will learn about Somerville’s wild life and write an original musical about them. Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24, Liza Kitchell will host a program for children ages 8 to 12 called “Wild Tails.” During the program’s three sessions, children will learn about urban wildlife, create a story and write songs about the wild animals that live in Somerville, and present their work as a musical play in the Growing Center’s garden in June. The original idea for “Wild Tails” began last year when puppeteer Frances Furlong created an original puppet show about urban wildlife with volunteers from the Growing Center. After the success of the puppet show, Aileen Bellwood, site manager for the Growing Center, and Kitchell, musician/educator, began talking about creating programs to reconnect children with nature, using the Growing Center as a focal point. In support of this idea, Kitchell was recently awarded a Somerville Arts Council grant to create a musical performance with children about Somerville’s wildlife. “Wild Tails” has been organized into three sessions consisting of four meetings each. In Session I (Feb. 24, March 3, 10 and 17 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.), children will learn about Somerville’s wildlife through dramatization and reading. They will play games, read about their chosen animals, and imagine what it looks and feels like to be a wild animal in Somerville. Story ideas will be discussed for the musical. In Session II (March 24, 13, April 7 and 14 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.), children will create songs for the musical using ideas from their dramatizations, games and story ideas. In Session III (May 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.), children will help construct costumes, sets and props for their musical, and then rehearse their final work. Sessions I and II will be held at the Central Library at 79 Highland Ave. Session III, as well as dress rehearsal and final performance, will be held in the Growing Center at 22 Vinal Ave. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents must sign in their child for each meeting attended. Parent contact information will be required. Arrive early, as each meeting is limited to 15 students.

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