Second-graders learned to balance on stilts, teeter on a tightwire and tumble across a mat when the Amazing Grace Circus, an educational and outreach partner of Westchester Circus Arts, visited Dows Lane Elementary School from Feb. 5-9. Performers provided the students – who had been learning about balance and motion in their science classes – with a variety of engaging activities to bring the concepts to life in a fun and interactive way.
“This program is a wonderful experience for the students,” second-grade teacher Kari Carlson said. “They realized how much their arms and legs need to move in different ways in order to be successful with these actual activities that happen to have a circus theme, but go along with our balance and motion unit.”
Throughout the week, the students had the opportunity to learn juggling, plate spinning, diabolo manipulation, and to climb and hang off aerial silks. At the end of the week, they showed off their newly acquired skills to parents, teachers and peers.
Amazing Grace Circus Creative Director Carlo Pellegrini, also known as “Mr. Amazing,” said circus arts education helps children learn progressive and sequential problem-solving while having fun and retaining the information with their whole body and mind.
“We demonstrated balance and motion principles using the actual skills of their body, mind and spirit,” he said. “For example, balancing on a tightwire requires the elements of [students] finding their balance, having the confidence that they can understand the principle, moving quickly through the motion and working to defy gravity as they progressively put one foot in front of the other.”
The Amazing Grace Circus’ visit was generously sponsored through a grant from the Dows Lane Elementary School PTSA.