A group of students at Pointview Elementary School trained for a 5K race while learning about empowerment through the new Girls on the Run club.
School secretary Molly Bussard is one of the club leaders.
“We want to empower and strengthen as many girls as possible. It’s a great program for all girls,” she said. “I wish I had something like this growing up.”
Girls on the Run is a national nonprofit program for girls in grades 3-8. The mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a curriculum that creatively integrates running.
Participants from Girls on the Run clubs across central Ohio participated in a 5K at Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 14.
The club at Pointview started last year, after Bussard’s daughter was involved in the club at Alcott Elementary School.
“When she did that 5K at the end, I was so impressed. I didn’t know she was capable of that,” she said. “I thought to myself, this is a chance to start this great club at Pointview so I coordinated with other teachers and it continues to grow.”
Eleven girls participated last year. The same number took part this year.
Bussard runs the club with Pointview teacher Amanda Oakes.
But it’s not all about the race at the end.
“We finish up the season with a community impact project, so that the girls can experience helping and giving back to others. Last season, we decorated flower pots and delivered them to a local nursing home,” Oakes said.
This year, they will assemble care packages for female military service members.
The girls also explore issues such as bullying, handling emotions and what real beauty looks like.
For example, in one of the discussions about handling gossip, the girls played the classic “Telephone” game and learned that words and facts often get misinterpreted each time they’re told.
The girls often go running in Huber Village Park.
“It’s not a competition so everyone goes at their own pace,” Bussard said. “It’s all about doing your best.”
Wednesday October 21, 2015 9:48 AM
Zombies will invade Westerville North High School from Oct. 22-24 with performances of Night of the Living Dead.
Director Tina Gleason said she chose Night of the Living Dead because she is a fan of film-noir movies and wanted to give students a platform to show their skills.
“This play allows us to get more students involved, especially in terms of help with special-effects makeup,” she said. “The makeup artists have been able to practice and photograph their work for their portfolios.”
Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 and 24. Tickets cost $6 each and can be purchased at the door or in advance online.
The production is not suitable for young children. It lasts for approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.
More than 78 students are involved in the play, with 35 members of the “zombie squad” and 17 students in the cast.
The play was written by Lori Allen Ohm and is based on the original film by George Romero and John Russo.
In the show, a mysterious radiation has transformed the unburied dead into flesh-eating zombies and seven people are trapped in an isolated farmhouse, held hostage by the ravenous horde.
Actors got a chance to learn stage combat, a skill Gleason said would help them in their future acting careers.
“The stage is a fantastic platform to do everything you can’t do in real life, such as combat,” she said.
Many students were learning stage combat for the first time and found it quite challenging.
“Dear Lord, this is hard,” sighed freshman Nick Martz during a rehearsal. “I don’t have to fake being out of breath because it’s exhilarating but exhausting.”
Martz described his character, Ben, as a guy who is thrown into the zombie apocalypse and takes on a leadership role but starts to deteriorate throughout the show.
This is Gleason’s first time directing a show at North, after the previous director Kim Mollohan stepped down.
“My directing style is to make it a creative process for the actors,” she said. “I try to describe my vision to them and ask a lot of questions so we can find a creative middle.”
Senior Taylor Crumrine said it was a little scary to have a new director, but she is rising to the challenge.
“I think it’ll prepare me for next year when I go to college and I’ll have a new director there. At least here, it’s the same stage and same people,” she said.
Crumrine’s character, Helen Cooper, the mother of the household, is one of many characters who faces off against the zombies.
“I actually get really scared and freaked out,” she said. “I mean, there’s hands coming in at me through the windows.”
Senior Nick Alvord plays Harry Cooper, Helen’s husband.
“He’s a stubborn, grumpy old man who doesn’t want to listen to anyone,” Alvord said. “It’s basically me in real life, so it’s kind of an easy role to play.”
Alvord said his death scene is his favorite moment in the show because he has the chance to be creative.
“It’s a gore fest. I’m attacked by a daughter, shot by another character and then I fall down the stairs,” he said.
In this year’s competition show, Westerville North High School marching band members are showing audiences what it means to build a home.
The show, “To Build a Home,” explores the themes of constructing a house as well as figuratively creating a home.
The first piece of music employed is John Adams’ The Chairman Dances, which has a lot of mechanical sounds that symbolize the construction of a house, according to band director Jordi Vilanova.
The show also includes the ballad Home from the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz, and closes with the song To Build a Home, which Vilanova said “wraps up everything.”
Throughout the performance, the color guard uses a large prop of a house plus flags that feature blueprints, houses and hearts.
The 85 marching band students began practicing at the beginning of May. Rehearsals continued throughout the summer, leading up to band camp in the third week of July at Canter’s Cave 4-H Camp in Jackson.
The leaders of the band worked together to craft a mission statement for the season: “Because we are a family with a common goal, the 2015 Westerville North Marching Band will be the best we can be by combining our strengths ‘To Build A Home.’ “
Vilanova said the band’s motto is “Be your best” and this advice has helped the students succeed.
“The kids are always really hardworking and I’m very fortunate to have dedicated kids,” Vilanova said. “We’ve been relatively successful year after year and I know they’ve got what it takes to succeed.”
The marching Warriors will compete at the Colerain Invitational in Cincinnati at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. They also will present the show during halftime of the home football game against Westerville South on Oct. 30.
The Westerville North marching band will finish its season at the Mid-State Band Association championships on Nov. 7 and are scheduled to travel to Walt Disney World Feb. 10-14, 2016.