‘Night of the Arts’ spotlights talents at Williams Elementary


Williams Elementary School principal Chris Reed presents top poetry awards to students Jasmine Hickman, left, Rachel Tague, Hailey Scalia, Joseph Scalia, Jarrett Santacroce and Daphne Landis, rear, at the Dec. 9 Bringing the Arts to Life celebration. Not pictured is poetry winner Javier Negron.

photo by Linda Wiggins

The annual “Night of the Arts” is always a special event at Ralph Williams Jr. Elementary School.

This time around, it was even better.

Using the theme “Bringing the Arts to Life,” the Dec. 9 event featured performances by the school’s choir, orchestra and percussion groups, as well as the Crane Art Gallery, where students displayed guitars they had made out of shoeboxes.

Vendors from local small businesses lined the hallways and there was also pizza from Viera Pizza, hot cocoa from Starbucks and food donated by Entenmann’s. There was even an allergy-free table that offered something for people with food allergies.

More than 350 people attended the event.

“The families were all excited,” Williams PTO president Casey Sanchez said, “because their children were performing. The children were all excited (because) they were performing. Anytime a child gets to perform on a stage it always builds confidence.”

The school’s video club put together a video that gave people an idea of all the activities that go on around the school, from music to art, media and physical education. 

Winners of the poem/haiku contest were also named for each grade and there was a used book sale with offerings donated by families, teachers and students. 

Kids could also take part in the ClayZ art station, where they made and decorated their own Christmas ornaments. 

The night was certainly a family affair, with everyone from music teacher John Kurowski, art teacher James Burks and media specialist Joye Kralovec helping to put on the show. The kindergarten and first-grade teachers served food and, of course, the whole thing couldn’t happen without the help of the school custodians.

It was that kind of familial feeling that made the night so special for all those involved.

“The really amazing part about the evening, I would say … was the feeling of family that you felt when you walked into the school, and the warmth of being welcomed,” Sanchez said. “That was awesome. We had families wanting to hang around and enjoy the evening and just be a part of everything, even if they didn’t have children that were performing. They just wanted to come and be a part of the school and the event.

“That I attribute to the new principal (Chris Reed) and the new assistant principal (Wesley Herold) at our school. They’re really bringing the community together.”