I am spending a 4 day residency here with the Oklahoma Arts Council funding. I am working with 6 classes of sixth graders each day. They are really excited about the residency. I was not able to be here last year because of a paperwork snafu. It has become a right of passage for the sixth graders here.
Broken Bow is in the most South East corner of Oklahoma. It is very poor and isolated and they do not get many special programs. They are taking good care of me by providing meals at local eateries each evening. Breakfast and lunch are at the school lunch room. Homade rolls and biscuts and all.
Each day the kids write in their journal…at least 4 sentences then we have a story and work with strings. Their brothers and sisters have taught them some things so they are prepared.
A sad note is that their regular teacher, Shawn Hutchings, lost her battle with cancer and passed away a couple of months ago. It was her vision that started the string program here and she kept it working. We will carry on without her, but she is really missed. The current sub, Mrs Hurd, is keeping things on an even keel.
Yesterday they had a field day and some of the kids were out in the morning participating. The other kids could go over for $1 for the afternoon. 6 boys decided they would rather stay and do strings so we had a string intensive for those boys during the afternoon. They learned the climbing porcupine and the beating heart. They really concentrated on what they were doing.
We took a little time out to take them outside for some basket ball practice. Just to blow the dust off them. What a nice time with just the dedicated.
After school today I drove North about 8 miles to Beaver Bend State Park. What a beautiful drive. The trees are turning green, the redbuds are in bloom and everywhere in the woods you see whisps of dogwood like little clouds floating. The tulip trees are starting to bloom also. I stopped at a restaurant in Hochatown a couple miles beyond the park and had too much catfish. It was really good.