Shared from District 30:
Wescott School first graders celebrated Earth Day by performing a new musical titled, "Joe Creek", written by music teacher Bill Vaananen. Vaananen says that it is a memoir of his days growing up in Oklahoma, where he spent summers down at Joe Creek exploring nature, digging forts, capturing fish, frogs, tadpoles, crawdads, and pollywogs.
The show explored the ecosystem of the creek, and included songs such as "Joe Creek", "Big Bullfrog", "Toad Hunting Tonight", "Red-Tailed Hawk", "The Crawdad Song", "Thunderstorm", and "Butterflies."
Creative lyrics filled Wescott's gymnasium, giving the audience a real feel as to what it must be like as a child of the 1960's, who grew up near a waterway in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was "teeming with life, not concrete," which Vaananen wrote in his script.
The end of the song "Joe Creek" describes it best: "Some folks climb the ladder of success, I climb in a tree! Some folks pay for a swimming pool, I swim here for free! Some folks like a bright spotlight, I prefer the sun! Down below in my secret world, Where another day has begun! Let's go-back to the Joe! Back to where the waters flow, with toads and turtles and big bullfrogs, tadpoles, fish and pollywogs, Just bring along your old bird dog, and come down to the Joe!"
"We want to give a special acknowledgement to Bill Vaananen for writing and directing yet another original production for the Wescott community! exclaimed Principal Dr. Terri Carman.
First grade teachers who helped coordinate the program included Kris Anderson, Maria Michalakos, Sallie Magruder, and Nicki Schaffer. Joan Marsh created the artwork for the backdrop, and Tia Stevens videotaped the show and helped with the scenery.