ABS Thursday Notes - September 21, 2023

Published for the Arts Based School Community

September 21, 2023

How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

“Training people to be creative is a subtle process.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Bob Moyer is back for his twenty-second year with us. He works as a resident artist with children in several areas: drama, poetry, and puppetry. Bob has had years of experience teaching “Head Start” youngsters, UNCSA high school drama students, and running a children’s puppetry program. As a founder of “Shakespeare Lives,” he has brought teams of teachers to visit the Globe theater in London. He is a published haiku artist, a director, a book collector. He has many other credits too numerous to mention. He watches and quickly learns what each age group at ABS is ready for, and he brings us new ways to focus and to become creative.

Currently, Bob is working with first graders on Viola Spolin’s drama games. Bob was a direct student of Ms. Spolin, who invented these classic games, which lead to strong internal skills as an actor but also build skills in problem solving and story telling. (Almost any career you can name now requires strong skills in story telling.) He is also coaching the first grade teachers, so they can take those games and integrate them into the curriculum. 

Mr. Bob thinks well beyond the possibility of training eventual actors and public speakers, although his approach is the best preparation for this. Instead, he is aware of the importance of developing the overall creative capacity of each child, which may translate into innovation, invention, and emotional balance in later years. Bob is not an entertainer. He is more of a conjurer. Actors who train with Mr. Bob do not just memorize words. In fact, Bob warns every year against handing a script to a child, before they have been led through exercises designed to discover capacities in each of them; capacities that might be developed into abilities. Rushing this process is like rushing the rising of bread. The result is flat, brittle, and mechanical. We are looking for the mysterious entry into true listening and problem solving on stage…the root of improvisation. (And what career…not to mention parenting… doesn’t require improvisation?)

Bob is also a great advocate for learning through play, because play is how people learn naturally…especially children. Our first grade teachers are currently observing and sharing ideas through Mr. Bob’s games, and considering how to adapt them to integrate other learning. For example, phonemic awareness, new vocabulary in science or social studies, and numerical skills can all piggyback on drama games. If we need a break from a lesson where listening and sitting still might have been required for a while, the break can be a drama game that continues to incorporate and review even the very material we’ve just been studying. But, in the form of play, that material “sinks in” differently, and instead of sitting still and listening, we listen and learn with a sense of fun and anticipation. That keeps us open minded. And an open mind leads to creativity.

September Raffle Winners

Congratulations to our September Asst Principals for the Day- Ian Braxton and Zora Donegan.  Each will spend a day shadowing the Principal and taking the care of the important duties of the day. We hold drawings every month at Friday Sing! You can purchase raffle tickets online to give your child a chance to be Assistant Principal of the Day. Assistant Principals have their own desk, name tag, and list of very important duties for the day. All proceeds from the raffle support our teacher appreciation fund and allow us to do special things for our staff throughout the year. Thank you, and good luck!

Save the Date-Parent Workday Sept. 30!

ABS Basement Clean Out!

Twenty years of collecting and we have a basement full of stuff!  We need your help to sort, organize and let go of the items we have no use for.  Broken and unusable items will be placed in the construction dumpster.  Usable items we can’t use will be donated to our volunteers who help with cleanout and local charities.   If you can help with this parent workday, please sign up here!


News from Parent Council

Here are the minutes from last week’s Parent Council meeting.  The next meeting is scheduled for October 13 at 8:30am


Teacher Appreciation week is officially celebrated the first week on May, but we know many of our families like to show their appreciation and gratitude throughout the school year.  Here is the list of Staff Favorites if you’re thinking of getting something special for our great teachers and staff.


Fall Festival- October 14- Volunteers Needed!

Time to get excited for family fun at the ABS Fall Fest on Saturday, October 14 from 12:00 to 3:00 held at the 7th Street building and courtyard! Parent Council is working on planning a great event.   Sign up to volunteer here:  ABS Fall Fest Volunteers


Fall Fest Saturday, October 14!

Noon - 3pm at ABS North in the middle school courtyard

We hope to have Face painting! Food trucks! Pumpkin decorating! Photo Booth! Cake Walk! Book Fair! Games, Games, Games! It's going to be AWESOME! Only $5 admission per child, cash at the door. Adults are free! Bring extra dough for the food trucks and book fair! Fall Fest is a Parent Council sponsored fundraiser that helps to support the school's annual operating expenses. 100% of admissions support Arts Based School. Don't miss it – come hungry and ready to play! Need more information or interested in volunteering, please contact your Class Rep or Parent Council Chairs Katy Whiteheart or Stephanie Smith.


Remember: This event is for ALL ABS North and South students! Students must have an adult present and be supervised during Fall Fest. Book Fair will be open during Fall Fest if you want to shop!


ABS Book Fairs Oct 16-20

The Scholastic Book Fairs are coming!!  Exciting news! This year we will have a fair set up at both North and South Campus and the North Campus will also open the Fair at Fall Fest which will be a great way to shop early AND enjoy Fall Fest!

We will NEED YOUR HELP! Please sign up to volunteer as soon as the SignUp Genius is available!! This is a really fun opportunity to get volunteer hours during the school day and during Fall Fest.

Please visit the links below to sign up for an E-Wallet account*, see the fair schedule, view the book fair flyer, or shop our online book fair.

North Campus Book Fair link: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/ABSNorth

South Campus Book Fair link: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/ABSSouth

*Set up an E-wallet account so your student can shop the Fair cash-free.  If you have multiple children, you must create a separate account for each child, be sure to use the correct fair link.

Every purchase you make at the book fairs earns money towards new books for ALL CLASSROOM libraries and BOTH SCHOOL LIBRARIES! More than half of all dollars spent at the book fairs go directly to purchase books for the school!

Questions can be directed to Kristen Faulkner, Book Fair Chairperson at [email protected]

Prospective Parent Tours

School tours for prospective parents begin in October. They are scheduled weekly on Tuesdays at 9:30am at South Campus and  Thursdays at 9:30am at North Campus. Each tour is limited to 10 adults in an effort to limit the disruption to our students and teachers in the classrooms. Parents interested in learning more about ABS and how to enroll their child, should contact the front office to sign up for a tour. 748-4116 ext 1023. Applications will be accepted beginning January 1. The lottery will be held the second Tuesday of February. 


After School Music Clubs

You can still sign your student up for After-School Music Clubs. Music Clubs are open to 6th-8th grades only, and are free of charge. 


Band Club will help students advance as musicians, prepare for high school marching or symphonic ensembles, or just have fun making great music together. Mr. Reichmeier will work with students in the 7th Street music room from 3:00-3:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is no fee to participate, but your child must rent or own their instrument, choosing from brass, woodwind, or percussion instrumentsTo sign up, please visit the Clubs page of our website.


World Percussion Ensemble

Mr. Reichmeier will teach a variety of percussion skills including West African djembe drumming, Afro-Cuban drumming and singing, and Brazilian samba drumming. Instruments will be provided (but will remain at school.) To sign up, please visit the Clubs page of our website.



Around Town

Salem Band Concert

Salem Band offers a concert of New Century Musicals on Sunday, October 1st, 3 pm in Hanes Auditorium. This all-ages program includes music from your favorite shows written or revived this century: Les Miserables, Mama Mia, Dreamgirls, Wicked, West Side Story – and for the kids, Encanto, Lion King, Frozen – and more! We are collaborating with Little Theater, so be ready to see your favorite character, including Belle, Elsa, Elphaba, and more. Kids, wear your favorite Disney costume and get your photo taken with Little Theater actors! Sing-along opportunities for everyone.

FREE in Hanes Auditorium, Elberson Fine Arts Center, on the campus of Salem Academy and College.

For more info, call 336-413-2180, email [email protected], or visit:





Arts For Life Hiring Part-Time Music Teacher

Arts For Life is hiring a part-time music teaching position for their Winston-Salem chapter. Here is the full job description. You can find more information at the links above - including the directions on how to apply. Taking applications through October 28th. 

Ways to get involved and learn more about ABS: