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Disney Elementary ‘books’ its Oscar show

April 3, 2013

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Disney fifth-grader Josie Weston accepts the Oscar for best comedy during the March is Reading Month event. In other moments of the ceremony, Tam Pham accepted for “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” and Charlotte Kowalski accepted for The Gingerbread Man as best character of all time.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Actor Taylor Lautner has some fans at Disney Elementary School in Fraser Public Schools.

Several of the school’s upper elementary female students released enthusiastic “wooos” when photos of the “Twilight” star popped up on the “silver” screen during the annual fifth-grade OSCAR ceremony.

The glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s Academy Awards lit up Disney’s media center March 28 for the Our Students Care About Reading (OSCAR) March is Reading Month event. The ceremony was modeled after the Oscar awards with recognition in several categories, including best novel of all time and best author.

The fifth-graders — dressed in their best — created the show by using their creativity and technology, including the iPads that were distributed district-wide this school year. The students captivated their audience through skits, songs and comedy routines they wrote themselves. They also created their own dance moves and consistently reminded everyone the event was related to reading.

The curtain rose at 1 p.m. when fifth-grade teachers Kelly Hixon and Kelly Newell welcomed parents, family members and staff.

“Every single fifth-grade student had a key role in creating our OSCAR,” Hixon said. “The students wrote their scripts and they wrote the songs they are going to be doing. They worked so hard. The school votes on the winners and they choose the nominees.”

“It’s a student-created authentic event,” Disney Principal Aaron Sutherland said. “The students star in the show. They created the show. It’s phenomenal.”

Mistresses of Ceremonies for the show’s first half, Hanna Hartway and Sonay Parker, kicked off the ceremony by presenting the nominees for best author of all time. The honor went to Dr. Seuss and Jan Brett, with fifth-grader Grace Dominka accepting the award on Brett’s behalf.

“Thank you so much for voting for me,” Dominka said.

Up next, it was time to find out who portrayed the best villain in books with Austin Vecchiarelli and Tyler Pierce presenting the category. Michael Kafoury — in costume — jumped up and accepted the award when the Joker from “Batman” was announced. Fourth-grader Aiden Kerns predicted his win before show time.

“You all locked me up in prison eight times,” Kafoury said, adding that he didn’t feel like thanking anyone. Still in character, he squirted water at the audience from his lapel flower. When asked mid-show what his favorite moment was, FPS Superintendent and audience member David Richards said, “I think the Joker.”

“Caps For Sale” received kudos as the best picture book. Shelby Roberts gave the acceptance speech for the win.

Presenters Lindsey Bloom and Hailey Nunez reminded everyone that novels should have a good beginning, a good story and a good ending. And the Disney readers elected “The Hunger Games” as best novel of all time. Cori Clark accepted the award on the book’s behalf.

Along the same page, Katniss and Rue from “The Hunger Games” were named best main and best supporting character, respectively. Clarissa Raymo was Rue, and Emma Guzman was Katniss.

Comedy was voted best genre of all time; The Gingerbread Man was voted best character of all time; and “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” the best series of all time.

New to this year’s show were pre-recorded commercials that intertwined with the video clip nominations, courtesy of the fourth-grade students.

“Basically, we picked different stuff from the school that has to do with the Oscars,” fourth-grader Sean Edghill said. “Most of them had to do with March Is Reading Month.”

“Mine is about the sixth-grade and how they’re going to miss Disney because they’re going to middle school,” fourth-grader Jane Baerman said.

The pair said they used iMovie on their iPads to create the commercials.

“Our teacher told us how to do it,” Edghill said.

The sixth-graders were scheduled to attend the show as “VIP guests,” since they put on the show the year before, Newell said. She thanked the parents who helped with the OSCAR decorations, and also the Parent Teacher Organization.

“They always support us,” Newell said.

About the author

Staff Writer Maria Allard covers the school districts of Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke, Warren Consolidated and Warren Woods, and Macomb Community College for the Warren Weekly newspaper. She also covers northeast Detroit, the City of Harper Woods and the Harper Woods District Schools for the Advertiser Times newspaper, and the City of Grosse Pointe Woods and the Grosse Pointe Public Schools System for the Grosse Pointe Times newspaper. Allard has worked for C&G Newspapers since 1995, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University.

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