Would I do it again?
In fact, I did.
I had never been to, or taken part in the Hope of America Program in the past. Oh yes, I’d heard of it before; I’d had other educators tell me about how wonderful it was and how I should go, but did I?
So, just why was this? To be honest…it was mostly because I just didn’t really want to battle the crowds—I’d heard that from lots of people in the past…those who told me just how horrendous it was; a genuine and nightmarish melee of people in a sea of vehicles all trying to depart at the same time when the program reached its end.
No, definitely not for me.
Well, when an educator moves schools and grade levels—more specifically moving to the 5th grade—this would be a good time to start thinking about taking part in the Hope of America—after all, it was a program intended to be performed by 5th grade students.
After a little convincing, my team was on board and the preparations began.
I won’t encumber you with sundry details of practices, hours spent in training the students (and those times where I did not prepare as I didn’t know I’d be directly involved in the show), but will instead jump you straight to the exciting part…fast forward past months of meticulous training to Cinco de Mayo 2009.
That morning my students were riddled with anticipation as we loaded onto the bus and headed to the
In some cases: both.
The practice went off without a hitch; it was fun to watch the performances in-between our numbers of varied schools and dance groups; many of which were not only talented, but downright amazing. Groups of children with choreographed routines from other countries, the “Golden Girls” dance troupe with members ranging from 50 to 92 ‘years young,’ and many others which left myself and my students spellbound.
Time-warp again to that night.
When the kids were finally all in place and the lights came up, something magical happened. Words cannot express or explain it fully; neither can photos…not really. This was something which you could only truly comprehend if you were there. Literally, it very well could have taken your breath away.
The lights went out and the students and educators began to perform. When we finally came to the ending with “We Can be a Light,” I felt a rush—a thrill—a sense of invigoration with life itself. As I looked out into the darkened interior of the
Would I do it again?
The next night (last, in fact) I went up with another teacher and we met up with four students who’d not had the opportunity to be in the show the first night because of a conflicting school program. Then, for the second time, I was able to take part in the Hope of America.
Needless to say, it was just as much of a thrill the second time around.
I can’t wait until next year…
(Top photo [my class is circled] courtesy of Lydia as well as the video clip)