New Stage Theatre Presents Arts-In-Education Programs

New Albany Androcles

On February 18 & 19, New Stage Theatre presented in-school performances of Androcles and the Lion and Mississippi Talking: Scenes from Mississippi Writers at New Albany Elementary School and New Albany High School, as part of the New Stage Theatre Arts-in-Education statewide touring program. Androcles and the Lion was presented on February 18 at 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at New Albany Elementary School for 1,128 Pre-K to 5th grade students; and Mississippi Talking was presented on February 19 at 8:15 a.m. for 498 6th through 8th grade students and at 10:00 a.m. for 545 9th through 12th grade students.

Androcles and the Lion, adapted by Kathryn Walat from Aesop’s fable, features an unlikely trio of friends of a singing mouse, an escaped slave, and a hungry lion whose bond is put to the test in this enchanting and heartwarming 50-minute play. Androcles, an escaped slave from the city, makes his way into the jungle where he finds the Lion with a thorn in his paw. Risking capture, Androcles decides to help the Lion and the two become fast friends. But when the evil Emperor imprisons the two companions, it’s the tiny Mouse who reminds them all that friendships aren’t easily broken.

New Albany MS TalkMississippi Talking: Scenes from Mississippi Writers is an entertaining and moving show, which illuminates the richness of the state’s culture in scenes gathered from the works of Mississippi’s finest writers. Audiences will be fascinated by this 55-minutes theatrical view of Mississippi that joins comic and dramatic scenes selected from poetry, drama, short stories, and novels by Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright and more.

The shows were directed by Chris Roebuck, Education Director at New Stage, and Francine Reynolds, Artistic Director at New Stage. They were performed by New Stage’s Professional Acting Company members Chris Ambrose, Matthew Denton, Allison Heinz, and Briana Thomas.

The performance was followed by an open discussion between the acting company and the students.  The discussion explored the literature, the themes of the play, and the experience of acting.

New Stage Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre.  New Stage Theatre’s Arts-in-Education tours are supported, in part, by Entergy, the Chisholm Foundation, and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Dean Provence Endowment Winners Announced

Pictured are the recipients of grant money from the Dean Provence Endowment at New Albany Middle School & New Albany High School:  Front Row l-r:  Savannah Minnick; Tracy Vainisi; Julie Eaton; Melissa Luna; Carey Crain;  Back Row l-f:  Justin Watson; Maia Miller; Jim Muncie; Betty Short; David Hopple; Brooke Dillard; Geoffrey King, Endowment Representative, Bailey King, Endowment Representative, Jed Morris, Endowment Representative.
Pictured are the recipients of grant money from the Dean Provence Endowment at New Albany Middle School & New Albany High School:
Front Row l-r: Savannah Minnick; Tracy Vainisi; Julie Eaton; Melissa Luna; Carey Crain; Back Row l-f: Justin Watson; Maia Miller; Jim Muncie; Betty Short; David Hopple; Brooke Dillard; Geoffrey King, Endowment Representative, Bailey King, Endowment Representative, Jed Morris, Endowment Representative.

The Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education Board has announced the allocation of funds totaling nearly $8,200 to teachers in the New Albany School District (NASD). In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the awards, this year grants were directed to New Albany Middle School and New Albany High School. Endowment funding will be used for equipment and materials in the classroom that are not typically covered by the school budget.

The Endowment for Excellence in Education was begun in 1986 as the vision of School Board member Dean Provence. Provence, a New Albany native, was an active volunteer in both school and community activities. Through his volunteer efforts, he recognized the need for additional funding in the schools for projects and classroom materials, and was instrumental in establishing the endowment fund. Following his death, the locally supported endowment fund was renamed in memory of Provence and has continued to provide needed funding to classrooms in the New Albany Schools for more than twenty years. Since 1986, the Endowment has provided approximately $335,000 in support to the NASD.

The endowment is funded through individual and corporate contributions and fundraising events sponsored by the Endowment Board. Contributions to the Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education are accepted throughout the year and may be mailed to 301 Hwy. 15 North, New Albany, MS 38652.

Project            Applicant            Amount Awarded

Books for the Library, Melissa Luna, $2,600.00

Scholastic Math Magazine, Maia Miller, $272.25

Brass Room Projector, David Hopple, $500.00

Projector, Justin Watson, $349.99

HoverCams, Tracy Vainisi & Julie Eaton, $648.18

Laboratory Equipment, NAHS Science Department, $3,012.00

Spanish Proficiency through Reading, Savannah Minnick, $776.00

New Albany School District Receives Continued Funding Through 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant

NAES Site Coordinator Laura Reedy & Enrichment Instructor Dawn Stroupe  conduct science experiments for 21st CCLC participants during a recent afterschool session.
NAES Site Coordinator Laura Reedy & Enrichment Instructor Dawn Stroupe conduct science experiments for 21st CCLC participants during a recent afterschool session.

The New Albany School District has been awarded continued funding through the Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant from the Mississippi Department of Education.  This is a five-year grant that will support expanded before-school and after-school activities, parent engagement opportunities, and summer enrichment programming at New Albany Elementary School, New Albany Middle School, and New Albany High School. This is the third year the school district has provided programming through the 21st CCLC grant.

Elizabeth Day helps a group of students prepare props for Readers' Theater during a before school session.
Elizabeth Day helps a group of students prepare props for Readers’ Theater during a before school session.

The school’s 21st CCLC program offers academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to students when school is not in session. The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for academic enrichment and tutorial services, as well as offer students an array of programs such as youth development, art/music programs, recreation, technology education, and character education.

Lights on Afterschool Week was held during the week of October 19 in an effort to bring awareness about after-school programs and the importance of programming through the 21st CCLC grant program.   The New Albany School District participated in the week’s activities by planning special enrichment activities for the program’s participants.

A group of elementary students work on a bat craft during before school enrichment time.  These students have been studying bat facts during the month of October.
A group of elementary students work on a bat craft during before school enrichment time. These students have been studying bat facts during the month of October.
A group of NAMS students participate in an afterschool book club.
A group of NAMS students participate in an afterschool book club.

Immunization Requirement for 7th Grade Entry in 2015-2016 School Year

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) requires the Tdap vaccination for all students entering 7th grade each fall.  This requirement began during the 2012-2013 school year.

The Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) had previously been a recommended vaccination for this age group since 2006. However at this time Mississippi, along with 41 other states require it.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, has increased in frequency across the country in recent years, as protection from the childhood pertussis vaccine has become weaker over time in the adolescent population.

”By vaccinating our adolescents, we can decrease illness in this group and reduce exposure and illness in infants,” said State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. “Pertussis can be particularly deadly for newborns, and it is essential to limit their exposure to the disease since they are too young to receive a vaccine against it.”

Additional recommended vaccinations for preteens include those against meningococcal disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), and a second dose of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine for those who have not received one at an earlier age.

“We still strongly recommend the Tdap vaccine for all adolescents, however it is only required for those entering seventh grade,” said Dr. Currier.

New Albany Middle School Nurse Anne Christ recently met with rising seventh graders to discuss the vaccination and encourage students to take care of this registration requirement as soon as possible. “Students must have their Immunization Form 121 on file before students can receive their schedules for the upcoming school year,” Christ said.

“I would encourage the parents of incoming seventh graders to adhere to this law to avoid delays in school registration this fall,” said Jackie Ford, Superintendent of New Albany Schools.

The required Tdap vaccination and other recommended vaccinations are available at the health department, clinics, and through all Vaccines for Children (VFC) providers.

After the required Tdap is given, parents will be given a new Immunization Form 121 that is marked “Complete for School”.  This new updated form must be on file at the school before your child can attend 7th grade in fall 2015. To avoid a rush for parents at the end of the summer, it is strongly encouraged that the updated Immunization Form 121 be provided to the school as soon as possible.