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Creativity guides Fine Arts team
Sallie Z. Elementary group allows kids to find own niche
Unsung Sallie Z. for Web
The Fine Arts team at Sallie Zetterower Elementary: left to right, Synda Williams, music teacher; Coach Bob Jennings; Carlee Fuller, art teacher. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    The Fine Arts team of Coach Bob Jennings, Art teacher Carlee Fuller, and Music teacher Sydna Williams at Sallie Zetterower Elementary School come from very different backgrounds, but are of the same mind: “If you can't motivate the children, then you shouldn't be in the classroom.”
    Having thus set the bar for themselves, each exceeds expectations year after year. It shows in all that they do. Coach Jennings, a 24-year veteran at Sallie Z., has just begun using special P.E. equipment purchased through the “Spark” program.
    This innovative program, supported by the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, focuses on activities that free overweight children from worrying about how they “perform” in front of their friends. As Jennings stated, “It's hard to jump or bounce wrong, so even the most unfit child can't help but have fun.”
    He added, “PE should be more than just playing organized sports. It needs to be about taking charge of your own health, and making sure you stay fit.”
    Music teacher Williams had much to say about her 16 years teaching music to students at Sallie Z. Her new “Elementary Chorus” is just getting ready to start practicing, and she is excited about what the future may hold for this group of 46 students.
    Williams also spoke of how she is teaching her students that music comes from personal experiences:
    “Every child can enjoy music, if what they're singing comes from their heart and their soul. Most musicians sing about tragedies (or successes) in their lives.”
    Art teacher Fuller is the new kid on the block, with only two years of teaching at Sallie Z. Nevertheless, she's jumped right in and made a difference. Fuller discussed how there is only one rule in her art classes: no one should say “No, I Can't.
    Fuller explained that, “I teach my students that they should draw what they want to draw the way they see it, and not how everybody else sees it. I always tell them that there are no real right or wrong ways to draw what it is you want to draw.
    “In fact, we have started an Art Club for each of the 4th and 5th grade levels, and have 16 members in each group. We discuss a lot of the famous works of art, but I tell them that those are not the only ways to portray what that person painted.”
    Art, Music, and Physical Education are all about personal expression, albeit very different types of expression, and the Fine Arts Staff at Sallie Z makes sure their students are given the chances to find their niche.
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