Amid a major construction project, Ft. Hunt Elementary School students celebrated the arts this past school year. Ft. Hunt began an approximately 18-month, major reconstruction project in July 2001, led by Whitener and Jackson construction firm. A new library has been built, new music and art rooms, and a new stage. Heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems have been upgraded.
All students at Ft. Hunt Elementary School are the recipients of the Virginia Commission of the Arts "Catch a Star" award. To qualify, students attended 20 or more cultural and performing arts events during the 2001-2002 school year. Throughout the year, the curriculum was closely integrated with the arts.
With a "do si do" and the "electric slide," Fort Hunt kicked off its annual family fund-raiser, featuring square dance caller, Mac McCall. Parents and children square danced at the Barn Dance, participated in a cake walk and other crafts, and downed their share of hot dogs and home made treats.
Regent Katherine Skalicky and American History Committee Chairman Mary Vaughan presented the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution 2001-2002 American History Contest Awards to Ft. Hunt students. Zachary Krohmal received a Bronze Medal, a certificate and a $50 U.S. Savings Bond as the 5th grade Chapter winner. Sixth-grade Chapter winner Sarah Watson also received a Bronze Medal, a certificate and a $50 Savings Bond. Participation certificates were presented to 74 5th grade students and 36 6th grade students. Mt. Vernon School Board member Isis Castro was a special guest.
FT. HUNT STUDENTS attended a performance at school held by "Quintango," a local tango group which won a Washington Area Music Association Award. The school also hosted the Kennedy Center's play "Dear America," which spotlighted the struggles and triumphs of America's immigrants.
Students celebrated Black History Month with an African American festival. Students researched, then wrote and presented an original play, complete with music, that featured well-known African-Americans.
Hobey Ford conducted a puppeteer workshop for teachers. Ford trained with Sesame Street's innovative Jim Henson.
Through the Washington Performing Arts Society, Ft. Hunt students met and performed for cellist Yoyo Ma. After studying about China's Silk Road, students attended a storytelling and music performance of Yoyo Ma's "The Silk Road" at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Center. Ft. Hunt also had a performing arts mentor.
Grade level field trips were also held throughout the school year. At Pamplin Civil War Park in Petersburg, Virginia, 6th grade students fired a cannon, marched as soldiers, experienced the sights and sounds of Civil War battlefields and encampments, and witnessed life as a field slave or house slave would have.
STUDENTS ATTENDED various performances at the Kennedy Center through the Virginia Opera's Visiting Artists Program. The school also partnered with the Washington Opera, and had a business partnership with the Mt. Vernon Orchestra.
The school year concluded with original performances of a 6th and 2nd grade opera and a kindergarten opera, written and performed by students. Students also celebrated the completion of elementary school at a "Heroes and Heroines" 6th Grade Tea hosted by Joan Lollar and other parents. Students received a "memory book" written and designed by Lisa Gillispie. In addition, students performed with the school's orchestra, band and chorus, and performed at an all-school talent show on the last day of school.