Fort Rucker, Alabama | February 28, 2013
Sparkling dresses and sharp suits impressed the children at Fort Rucker Elementary School Friday during the school's Time to Shine rally.
The Enterprise Encores performed their "Shine On" show during the rally to help get the kids fired up about taking their standardized tests that began Monday, according to Vicki Gilmer, FRES principal.
"The students always do a wonderful job on the Terra Nova standardized assessments and always perform above the national average. The past two years the students have surpassed their own achievements and the increases in the test scores have been phenomenal. That is why the Time to Shine rally was implemented last year. We want to continue to support our students and recognize their success," she said.
FRES students celebrated their hard work and reviewed their school wide goals.
"The students began the school year with a Mission Possible event. This event had students work through stations where they learned about the school-wide goals of writing across the curriculum and mathematical reasoning. The students also learned how to set goals and how to design a plan to meet those goals. They then selected individual goals for the year," said the principal.
The Time to Shine rally is a designated time to acknowledge the hard work the students have done and celebrate their successes so far. The highlight of the rally was the performance of the Encores' award-winning show.
"The event is more of a celebration than a stress reliever," said Gilmer. "We are celebrating all the good work they have done this year. Last week they took the assessments and they scored off the charts. We are going to shine through the testing next week."
The entire school participates and many children, like Nolan Bennett, said they hope the event continues each year.
"I know other grades, not just me, would really like to see [the Encores] again. So, if they could come back next year or at the end of this year that would be great," he said.
The choir's two wardrobe changes, sassy attitude and acrobatics kept the children engaged.
"I thought the singers were spectacular. They had great voices and great dance moves and great choreography! My favorite part was when the guys changed their outfits and did all their stunts, it was awesome," said Bennett, a sixth grader.
The rally concluded with the school performing its special musical number "Math, Math Baby" to entertain the show choir.
"We had a math goal this year, so we put a little rap number together to help get our math down," said Gilmer.
Justin O. Mitchell, deputy garrison commander, who attended the event, was seen tapping his foot along with the beat.
"It is a phenomenal event. It is an exciting opportunity for the singers and dancers to come and show what they can do. I hope it inspires the children to sing and dance or play music," he said.
The superintendent of Enterprise City Schools, Aaron Milner, was also in attendance and also hoped that the choir inspired the young, impressionable, children.
"Enterprise schools have always had a great relationship with Fort Rucker, so we are glad to be here. Liberal arts is one of the main things I am proudest about in our school system and for our Encores to home here today and for me to see so many faces inspired, just wow," he said.
"I can tell many of them want to be on that stage one day and we believe that there is more to an education than just the four core subjects; we want our children to be able to express themselves," he added.
Bennett is one of those children who hopes to be an Encore one day and said that they did inspire him.
"At one point, I will like to do that, too, because I like being in front of a crowd and performing," he said.
The sixth grader was just as enthusiastic about his academic curriculum and seemed to have no worries about the Terra Nova testing.
"I am not nervous about the tests next week. In fact, I am pretty confident because we all did [well] on the pre-tests and the teachers have taught all of us well," he said.