We recently received a letter from Barbara Borel, one of our treasured teachers at Juan De Anza Elementary in the Wiseburn School District. We’re honored that Barbara values the programs we have taught in her district since 2013 and we’re proud to share her thoughts with you. Here is what she had to say about our our “Secrets of the Heart” programming recently delivered by teaching artists, Phylliss Bailey-Brooks, Danya Schwartz, Tiffany Abril and Tomoka Nomura-Jarvis to the kindergarten students of Juan De Anza. The Passport program was delivered by Anindo Marshall.
“This is a ‘one of a kind’ learning experience.” This year as I was sitting on the floor watching the real teachers; I reminded myself how lucky I was to be in the presence of such talented and professional performers. Also how lucky our students are to be on the receiving end of such excellence. To each teaching artist, I applaud you for what you were able to impart to all the students. I know they will remember this experience!
Phylliss: Aside from all your talents listed in your bio, I think I love your sense of humor most of all. You laugh at yourself and laugh with the students. They were excited to see you because they already knew it was going to be “FUN” – and a little crazy!!
Danya: A drum is such a complex instrument. Yes, you imparted to the students your love of drumming and also that a drum is a musical instrument, not just a noise maker. It can be soft, loud and also make beautiful sounds and rhythms.
Tiffany: Such a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice. When you sang, you had all the students’ attention immediately. They were mesmerized. The stories each class wrote were so creative and funny, but they belonged to the students – which is what the lesson was about. Kindergarteners writing stories??? Awesome!!!
Tomoka: Ahh, Miss Flute. Miss Flute is a mystery. She answers questions with notes. How cool is that? The kids loved learning about different hats and their purpose, as well as making a hat! They were excited about that.
And then there is Anindo. Your drumming comes from your heart. So gentle and yet so strong. It is like a language that speaks to us all. And we listen…
I thank you all for your commitment to education. I am so happy Anza kinder students are able to benefit from this wonderful experience. Much love, Barbara”
And Barbara….we cherish you as a teacher and partner.