Over the last two weeks, Delaware City Schools third graders traveled to Columbus to see a production of “The Nutcracker,” resuming a tradition paused by the pandemic.
The trip was sponsored by the district’s various parent teacher organizations (PTOs) and was an annual tradition before the pandemic forced the 2020 trip to be cancelled.
“This is something that we have not been able to do for a couple of years, but it’s an extremely important experience for the students,” Woodward Elementary School Principal Eric Barr said. “For many of our students, this is the first time they’ve had the opportunity to visit a live performance in a major theater.”
Barr said the third graders at Woodward enjoyed the trip, and he’s thankful they were able to go.
“It’s a chance for them to go experience a show at a big theater. The students get dressed up and look great,” Barr said. “This is something they look forward to every year. It’s just a great experience, and we appreciate all the PTOs and everybody helping out and making this happen.”
Lauren Skillen, the Schultz Elementary PTO co-president, said the organization was looking forward to resuming the trip.
“Schultz PTO was very excited to be able to partner with our families and continue this tradition and other field trips this year,” she said. “Attending ‘The Nutcracker’ is one (trip) that third grade students look forward to as early as kindergarten when learning about it in music class.”
Skillen said she hopes students make connections between the performance and the lessons they learn in music class.
“Having students see and experience the music, ballet, and performance in person, and making connections to what (Schultz Elementary School Music Teacher) Tracy Cinereski has taught in music class and their classroom projects is so meaningful,” Skillen said. “PTO loves having the opportunity to work with our school community to give our third graders this out-of-classroom experience”
Superintendent Heidi Kegley said she’s glad the trip is being offered once again.
“We were so excited to see our third grade students return to ‘The Nutcracker’ this year,” Kegley said. “It’s a very special experience for all of our students, but especially for those who may be attending their first professional theater event.
“I love hearing from our teachers how students are truly mesmerized during the performance, and how many students express their desire to see more theatrical productions,” she added. “We are grateful to the teachers, parents, and PTOs for making this experience available to our students.”