059Question: How do you double the student population at R.Tait McKenzie in just two weeks?

Answer: You give every student the opportunity to build their very own puppet character!!

Thanks to a grant from The Young Awards, Principal Paul LeRoy was able to invite Jeff Banks of JB Arts in Almonte and Noreen Young from Puppets Up! (assisted by Jessica Plager) to come and teach every student from Kindergarten to Grade 6 how to build a puppet. It was a lot of fun for everyone!! Each Grade level built a different kind of puppet – including rod puppets, marionettes, hand puppets and latex puppets. The school was full of crazy and imaginative characters and they all went home with the kids to be introduced to their families.061

It’s not too late to get a ticket to The Young Awards Gala on May 9th (www.YoungAwardsFoundation). The Young Awards Foundation’s mission is to foster dynamic arts initiatives in the schools of Mississippi Mills and their principal fundraising activity is the annual gala dinner recognizing artistic and community volunteerism. All funds go towards extra-curricular arts initiatives involving Mississippi Mills schools and/or students.

Jeff Banks teaches art to kids and adults and all his JBArts programs are listed on his website at www.jbarts.com. Noreen is Artistic Director of Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival (www.puppetsup.ca). This year’s festival will be held on August 7, 8 & 9.