Work of Art Learning Center students stage Halloween presentation in West Pittston for parents, grandparents

By Mary Therese Biebel - mbiebel@timesleader.com | October 30th, 2015 9:12 am

WEST PITTSTON — They sang about ghosts and cats and 10 little bats hanging upside down.

Then, after the last strains of “I’m a Little Pumpkin” and “If You’re a Skeleton and You Know It, Wiggle Your Bones” died away, the preschoolers who attend Work of Art Learning Center in Exeter each had a chance to solo.

As parents and grandparents watched the preschool’s annual Halloween show at Immaculate Conception Church in West Pittston, each child stepped forward to give a treat-worthy performance, from a handstand to a curtsy to jumping in place.

Dressed as a black cat, Deena Connors, 3 ½, of Wyoming spun around in a circle. “She’s been so excited about that costume,” mom Denise Connors said. “For months, she’s been planning it.”

Mira Mead, 4, of Harding, looking like a fairy with a blue dress and wings, kicked her right leg high to the side, like a ballerina. She does take ballet lessons, her grandmother confirmed.

Later, in perhaps the most surprising performance, 3-year-old Jackson Berger of Exeter flung himself to the ground and crawled vigorously across the floor — then back toward his chair — on his stomach.

Later, his mother, Michelle Berger, asked why he decided to do that. “Were you pretending to be a baseball player?”

Her son, dressed as a furry green monster from the movie “Monsters Inc.,” suddenly turned shy and turned away from a reporter, burying his head in his mom’s clothes. The world may never know his reason.

What we do know is that some of the kids really like chocolate, others Skittles fruit-flavored candy or traditional autumnal candy corn. As part of the presentation, each child had a chance to speak into a microphone and name his or her favorite Halloween treat plus this year’s costume.

One of the goals at the Work of Arts Learning Center is to accustom the children to speaking in public, director Gina Malsky said, explaining the school incorporates the arts and communications skills into daily lessons.

Performances are linked to holidays such as Halloween, but “if they had a show here every week, I would come every week,” said Mike Lapsansky of Jenkins Township, who enjoyed watching his 4-year-old daughter, Lia, participate dressed as Princess Ana from the movie “Frozen.”

“There’s a regular princess revolution going on,” Marion Tetlak of Dupont said with a laugh, noticing how many of the girls appeared as Cinderella, Ariel or another Disney heroines. Tetlak, who came to watch her granddaughter, Mia Adelstein, 4 ½, sing in her Rapunzel costume, said the school does a great job with its young students. “They are so well-prepared for kindergarten when they leave.”

Evan Hoffer dressed as a dinosaur for the Halloween presentation.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_halloween.kids-020.jpgEvan Hoffer dressed as a dinosaur for the Halloween presentation. Submitted photos
Four-year-old Mira Mead demonstrates her Halloween solo performance with a high kick before an audience of classmates from Work of Art Learning Center and their parents on Thursday morning.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_halloween.kids-028.jpgFour-year-old Mira Mead demonstrates her Halloween solo performance with a high kick before an audience of classmates from Work of Art Learning Center and their parents on Thursday morning. Submitted photos
Jackson Berger crosses the room on his stomach for his solo performance.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_halloween.kids-033.jpgJackson Berger crosses the room on his stomach for his solo performance. Submitted photos
Aubrey Gilpin, center, dressed as Ariel the mermaid, speaks into a microphone during a Halloween show presented by the children of Work of Art Learning Center. One of the center’s goals is to give children the confidence to speak in public.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_halloween.kids-037.jpgAubrey Gilpin, center, dressed as Ariel the mermaid, speaks into a microphone during a Halloween show presented by the children of Work of Art Learning Center. One of the center’s goals is to give children the confidence to speak in public. Submitted photos

By Mary Therese Biebel

mbiebel@timesleader.com

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT


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