We encourage children to experience the joy that comes from being able to think freely and express openly that which comes from inside of them. We use drama, music, art, movement and dance to allow children to navigate the realms of creative expression.
Children spend time making up stories and plays, playing games and acting out what we are studying. Drama is a continuously spontaneous part of the curriculum, one of the great avenues for teaching and working with children. We create an all school performance once a year. The older children are involved in writing, producing and directing these original productions. They design and build the sets and create the costumes; choreograph the dance with our dance teacher, and help write the songs. These are amazing experiences, and we know that no other school does it the way we do it (the kids call it “The Running Rive Way”). We sometimes take well known stories, such as The Wizard of Oz, and change them to express what we feel is the essence of the story. We also write completely original works. The entire process teaches the children deep comprehension of a story; team work; the power of presence and attention; acting; singing; dancing and the integration of all the arts, skills, gifts and talents of a lot of people. Go to our you tube button to see scenes from some of our productions.
In 2015 our 4th-6th graders were invited to participate in the C.U. Willpower Festival with 5 other schools. We were given 3 scenes from Much Ado About Nothing to perform at C.U. We used this as a perfect way to study Shakespeare in L.A. and the children fell in love with Shakespeare. This is now a yearly part of our L.A. and Theater curriculum.
The children, over the years, learn and experiment in every medium. In the Spring we have an art show with selections from every child’s art work. Art is an integral part of the daily class. We create learning experiences to educate children about where certain art forms originated. We work with clay directly from the earth, and make a container of some sort to hold water. We make dyes and paints from plants. We make our own paper, or find other things to write on. Art is not a separate subject, but a process we are constantly engaged in.
Music & Dance
We have the most amazing music and dance teachers! Janet, our music teacher, is trained in classical piano and is a piano teacher, along with being a running coach. She comes once a week and teaches the children how to sing, drum, work with rhythms and perform. Our dance teacher, Lauren Beale, has her Masters from CU, and teaches dance to children and adults, as well as performs locally and nationally. The children choreograph the dances for our performances and learn to perform as a real troupe. She teaches all forms of dance, and most importantly, lets them feel confident and joyful in how they move! We also are involved with the CU Moving program, and every year visit and dance with the dance students on campus. There is always singing and dancing happening at Running River!