CyberFair Project ID: 1845

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Touching Lives In A Very SPECIAL Way: The Very Special Arts Festival
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: St. John Chrysostom
    Inglewood, California, United States

35 students, ages from 9 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 28, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001

Classes and Teachers: 7th Grade, Technology Club, Mrs. Lewis

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our local community is in city of Inglewood. It is centrally located surrounded by four major Los Angeles Freeways and is ten minutes from Los Angeles International Airport. The city's business community includes the Great Western Forum and Hollywood Park Race Track . For this years Cyberfair we are moving out from our local community to The Music Center - Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County which provides programs for the Southern California community.

...The Music Center, which opened in 1964, reaches more than 2.6 million people each year and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Center Theatre Group (the Mark Taper and the Ahmanson Theatre), the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale as well as special events such as the recent performances of the Bolshoi Ballet and Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus. The downtown Los Angeles complex includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum, the newly renovated Ahmanson Theatre and the future Walt Disney Concert Hall... Within the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles, is a community of performers who are dedicated to their field of the arts. They share that joy and appreciation with a community of students and teachers as well as the audiences that come to the Music Center to see their performances. We want to share in their inclusion of another community, special needs children. This community, children who have disabilities, need a lifetime of care and a more sensitive and understanding community around them. In our school community, we want to be aware of both limitations and possibilities and begin to understand the need to be sensitive, positive, and supportive of others. We want to learn what it takes to care and help children with special needs, and even celebrate their accomplishments!

2. Summary of Our Project

Touching Lives In A Very SPECIAL Way

Our project will look at two programs: “Music Center On Tour” and “The Very Special Arts Festival.” Over the years we enjoyed a great variety of music, dance and theater! The school selected performances that had a wide range of ethnic diversity! We will list past performances. We want to explore The Music Center’s “Very Special Arts Festival” that celebrates the artistic achievements of children with mental and physical disabilities. We will include children from our community with special needs. Students will research “learning disabilities” and link sites dealing with a variety of special needs. They also will link a world wide series of “Very Special Arts Festivals”. We will bring special ed students to our campus and work with kids from the Jeffrey Foundation after school/high school program. Since kites are one of the listed activities, we will use the internet to find links to kites.

In this project we will use materials and contacts with the Music Center. Our students will:

LEARN about special needs children

EXPLORE The Living Ocean project of The Very Special Arts Festival

WORK with the Jefferies Foundation

APPRECIATE the needs of all children

CARE with a greater understanding

UNITE with our community and the world community to help special needs children through The Very Special Arts Festivals

We also will work with special needs children from The Jeffery’s Foundation and use the Music Center’s The Living Ocean theme to guide our activities. We will use the internet to link other Very Special Arts Festival. We want to focus on what the Music Center does ... “provide opportunities for lifelong learning in the arts and to enrich education of all children by bringing the arts into the classroom. The Education Division has touched the lives of more than 12 million students and teachers throughout Southern California.”

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

This year we expanded the internet in the labs because we have better/faster computers. We are doing more video conference. We also were one of 100 schools in the United States that got a camera (Intel Play) to make a movie. The 5th grade entered the

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Time, time TIME! We need to do everything on our own time! The only class time we had was during our silent reading period!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

HECTOR - This year cyberfair was interesting to me because it was my first time using webpage builder. SEAN - This year I learned about The Very Special Arts Featival. I also found out about the living ocean and kites. I explored websites that I had not known about. LAUREN - This year was a real learning experience for me. I thought that the Music Center just toured to schools and had perdormances in LA.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Working with special needs kids and having them at our school was WONDERFUL! We went there too and hope to go to the Art Festival with them!

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

This year we used the internet much more than last year. We did many more searches! Last year we had to visit the hospital and high school and it took a great deal of time to interview and write summaries. This year we had to learn about special needs (disorder or handicaps) and the internet had everything for us! We learned a lot! We also shared the fact that we were working on the Cyberfair with a school we found when we did a cyberfair web search. We found a school in New Orleans and are doing video conferences with them every school day. We also have an email and 8th grade project! All this from our CyberFair contacts!!! We have some new FAST computer and the fact that we learned ClariHome Page last year made it easier this year. If we had more time we would have used more technology.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We were special ambassadors in a different way! Our school celebrated it's 75th year in our city and we had a big celebration. People who came were impressed with out technology and what we are doing with it. The other very special way we contacted people in our community was working with the Jeffrey kids. We took them on a tour of our school and they were really intersted! (they are in a total special ed school and are not mainstreamed at all). When they were here they were just like us. One girl was interested in the boys on our basketball team, they were having a game. She was as

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

This year we REALLY made a difference. We had to get permission from the Music Center and they were most impressed with our project! The Jeffery contact is more than anyone expected. We all are surprised with how special this is. We NEVER considered the importance of what we started. It is just a start! Once this deadline is over and we are finished with this years CyberFair, we still have lots to do! We discovered that this project may have started as a cyberPROJECT but it will continue as a community project of a lot of caring people!

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We had lots of emails with the Jeffrey Foundation and visited their Intel Clubhouse LA. The person in charge of the special ed afterschool program came with their kids to our school. She teaches at a Cal-State University in Long Beach and asked out technology teacher to come to talk about our project. We could write more about helpers but are running out of time. Most of our help came from the internet this year because both the Music Center and Very Special Arts Festival had many links.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The big surprise was how serious the 7th grade class was when we started talking about special needs children. We discovered that it was close to each of us. We all knew someone in our family or community who had problems. It also was clear that each of us could end up in an accident that could make us handicapped. If it happened to Superman it could happen to anyone. We also talked about the movies that dealt with impaired people.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1845)

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