What began as a motivational project for new kindergartners 15 years ago has become an annual tradition for Union Hill School — and a milestone for its families.
Approximately 200 parents, families and friends gathered on the school’s field Thursday to watch the 15th annual Kinder-Circus. The performance — a full production set to music — featured ringmasters, clowns, tightrope walkers, rocketmen, strongmen (complete with mustaches), acrobats, tigers, lions, tamers and much more, led by teachers Beth Buti, Sherri Mass, Angie Pereira, Sally Vandenbroek and Shelly White. It was the culmination of the students’ first month of school.
Kindergarten teacher White said the circus evolved from her lesson for an “I Think I Can” train to a parade on campus to the production that it is today.
Since the first day of school, the kindergarten classes have used the circus theme to study reading, memorizing, shapes, colors, letters and, of course, an art project creating a circus train with each child’s idea of what they think they can do their first year of school.
Each of the four teachers, dressed as clowns, led 86 students through their circus acts set to music. Not only does the Kinder-Circus build teamwork and reinforce character traits the students learn in school, but the event also helps form a sense of community for the families, Buti said. “It’s become a really neat tradition for the beginning of the year and a special way to bring all the kindergarten families together,” she added.
Union Hill School, which became a charter this year for its kindergarten through sixth-grade classes, is one of only a few in western Nevada County that still offers kindergarten through eighth grade on one campus.
At the start of school in August, one student already knew which act he would participate in, “the end,” Buti said he told his teacher, because that’s where his big sister was for her Kinder-Circus more than five years before.