On Friday May 12, Benway School gave a presentation called The Arts: Engage, Educate, Enrich. The presentation demonstrated the importance of having art programs and how they impact students, allowing them to express themselves in a positive way. The day started with talks from both students and staff, explaining why having the arts in school was so important to them. An art exhibit followed which displayed the work of students from Mrs. Shannon DeCoursey’s class. Oversized treat replicas, Van sneaker contest submissions, paintings and more filled Benway’s cafeteria.
The day culminated when students preformed "Believe 2017," an original musical written and directed by Mary Tashjian and Amy Schindler of Viragomusic. Mrs. Joli Simpson asked Mary and Amy to come in and work on something creative for the students. They decided on a musical so that students at the school could learn about all the different components of what goes into such a production: music, singing, dancing, and acting. Benway’s very own music instructor, Vincent Scalia, was also brought in to provide his expertise to “Believe 2017.” This artistic collaboration focused on emotions and how they may be expressed. The students’ efforts were rewarded with a spotlight on News 12 New Jersey later that night!
Benway is very grateful for the efforts of Mary, Amy, Mrs. DeCoursey, Mrs. Simpson and Mr. Scalia for providing such a wonderful opportunity and experience for its students!