December 2016 Family Friendly Community Guide

A collectable Christmas village is pictured. From nutcrackers to stockings, villages, crèches and Santas, there is someone who collects them. See these unique collections, visit with the collectors, have some holiday treats and share in the holiday spirit during the Marquette Regional History Center’s December 7 event, “Christmas Collections.” The family-friendly event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free to the public, though donations are welcome.  For more information visit marquettehistory.org or call 226-3571. (Photo courtesy of the Marquette Regional History Center)

A collectable Christmas village is pictured. From nutcrackers to stockings, villages, crèches and Santas, there is someone who collects them. See these unique collections, visit with the collectors, have some holiday treats and share in the holiday spirit during the Marquette Regional History Center’s December 7 event, “Christmas Collections.” The family-friendly event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free to the public, though donations are welcome. For more information visit marquettehistory.org or call 226-3571. (Photo courtesy of the Marquette Regional History Center)

Christmas classic hits the Vista stage

Ralphie Parker and his 200-shot Range Model air rifle will arrive at the Historic Vista Theater stage in December with a production of Jean Shepherd’s classic, A Christmas Story.

The production, put on by the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council, with an arrangement from The Dramatic Publishing Company, Inc, will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, December 8 through 10, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on December 10.

Adapted from the 1983 movie of the same name, as well as Jean Shepherd’s comedic classic In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, in 2000 (and again adapted for a stage musical in 2012) the play will present a story we all thought we knew, in a way many of us have never seen before.

The cast is loaded with local stage regulars such as Tina Nelson (Rocky Horror Show/Cabaret), Tom Pascoe (Oklahoma), Jana Alumbaugh (Oklahoma) and Jillian Sollid (Beauty & the Beast/The Little Mermaid); breakout opportunities from regular youth actors Olive Sollid as Randy, and Jaxon Foster as Ralphie; and introducing for the first time ever in a PAAC production: Ferguson Bernier as the narrator Ralph, Ashley Matheny as Mother and Endla Harris as Esther Jane Alberry.

Tickets are $12 for adults, and $8 for students high school and under and seniors age 62 and over. They are on sale now at the Historic Vista Theater/PAAC Box Office, located in the annex (formerly the Vista Theater Thrift Shop), Rare Earth Goods in Ishpeming, Snowbound Books in Marquette and Gitche Gumee Café & Records in the Village Shopping Center in Marquette. Tickets for A Christmas Story can be registered to win $300 weekly with the Be Local, Buy Local app.

This holiday event is going to coincide with the Downtown Negaunee Association’s “Tinsel Town,” and more special events to coincide with the Historic Vista Theater’s 90th Anniversary of Operations are still to be announced.

­— Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council

Reach & Rise expanding in Marquette

In an effort to help more kids and teens achieve personal and academic goals, the YMCA of Marquette County will offer the new group model of the Reach & Rise Mentoring Program.

The national YMCA program connects adult co-mentors with groups of youth ages 8 to 15 for periods of 8 to 16 weeks. Through group mentoring, youth will learn how to identify, express and manage emotions, learn effective decision making and problem solving skills, and learn how to establish positive, healthy relationships.

Through this program, the YMCA will recruit and train adult volunteer mentors to co-lead group mentoring services and create safe, healthy and meaningful relationships with youth. Mentors and mentees will participate in service projects, field trips and other engaging activities.   

“The YMCA of Marquette County is excited to begin offering the Group Model of the Reach & Rise Mentoring Program, which will benefit many of our youth, inspiring them to reach their full potential,” said Jasmin Roden, group mentoring coordinator for the YMCA of Marquette County, in a press release. “Through this program, more youth in Marquette County will develop relationships with caring mentors, families and schools leading to higher achievement and a brighter future.”

As part of a national expansion, the YMCA of Marquette County is one of 38 YMCAs now offering the group program. In addition, the YMCA of Marquette County continues to offer the Reach & Rise one-to-one model under Melissa DeMarse, LPC.

To learn more, contact Roden via phone at 227-9622, ext. 34 or email jroden@ymcamqt.org.

­— YMCA of Marquette County

Improv arrives at Patriot Performing Arts Theatre

The Westwood Improv Troupe will present Even the Obscure Ones, an improvised performance of comic scenes at 7 p.m. on November 30. 11 a.m. on December 8 and at 7 p.m. on December 21 at the all-new Patriot Performing Arts Theatre at Westwood High School.

“It’s going to be funny,” said student director and seven semester veteran of the improv company Skylar Vickery. “There are no scripts, so you never know what’s going to happen.”

First year drama director Jamie VanEnkevort added that audiences should expect “wild spontaneity” in these usually funny but sometimes dramatic improvised scenes.

The title itself, Even the Obscure Ones, actually arose out of an improv scene, according to VanEnkevort. The company thought it suited the quirky improv show well, she said.

“We’ve got some strong veterans who have built this program, and lots of talent among the freshmen (and other underclassmen),” VanEnkevort said. “I’m interested to see how that will come together in the show.”

The Westwood Improv Troupe is a division of The Westwood Shakespeare Company, which also includes the Westwood Shakespeare Young Company and the Westwood Shakespeare Community Theatre.

“The improv troupe was developed at first as a way to get kids on their feet and acting,” said B.G. Bradley, the company’s artistic director. “It is an art form all in itself, but is also a great way of getting kids ready to perform Shakespeare. To a large extent, as a result of the program’s training, some fine young actors have developed into college, community theater and even professional actors and technical theater specialists.

“And now, with our new theatre,” he added, referring to the PPAT, “we’ll be able to provide even more sophisticated training.”

Tickets for Even the Obscure Ones are $10 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 per ticket for groups of five or more. For further information contact VanEnkevort at 485-1023 or vanenkevortj@nice.k12.mi.us.

— NICE Community Schools

Helping children express themselves

There are many fun ways for families to help their children get ready for reading and writing at school. The interest in self-expression through talking and drawing begins at a very early age. Children become writers as they realize that they can use marks on a paper to stand for ideas they are thinking, and children learn by copying adults.

Adults have many opportunities to show that writing, either with pen, crayon, or on the computer is a valuable skill. We can model expressing our ideas by using letters and words. The following activity is a fun way to help young children realize that their own ideas can be written down and read by themselves and others.

Start by gathering pencils, crayons paper, glue and photos of family, pets or trips.

Making picture posters

Spend some time talking about family photos and choose a few favorites.  Help your children glue one or two pictures on a sheet of paper. Leave enough space between photos for printing sentences about the pictures. Help children think up a simple sentence about each picture. Using your children’s words and ideas, print the sentence under each photo using capital letters only for beginning the sentence or names.

When finished, point to each word as you read the sentences out loud. Use good expression and read together as you point. Children will memorize the sentences when read over a period of weeks. Early “reading “is often like this. Hang the paper up on the refrigerator or wall for everyone to see.

Making little books

Throughout the seasons, make little books using a photo on each page and a printed simple sentence that children ask you to write in their own words. Make the printing big and clear on each page.  Staple or clip several pages together. You might want to make covers for the books with a simple title, drawing, and children’s names on the front for example,  “My Pets by Cindy.”

Read the books together often and add them to the storybook shelves and toys you have for kids to use. Encourage them to read often to family members and pets. They make treasured gifts and can be read while doing Facetime with relatives who live far away. Reading these little books gives them something to say. The books also make good short movie subjects.

Talking, remembering, reading and writing together are important activities which develop language. Understanding that ideas can be written down with letters and words is the first step in the development of writing skill. With family members as their first models and teachers, children who experiment and practice communicating through writing at home will be successful writers in school.

For more suggestions see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons.

­— Grandparents Teach, Too

Marquette winter parade and tree lighting set for December 2

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority’s Winter Snow Fun Holiday Parade and 41st annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, December 2. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Fair Avenue and will venture down North Third Street, ending at the Marquette Commons. This downtown tradition transforms Third Street into a scene from the North Pole, featuring over 25 decorated floats, vehicles and marching units. The United States Postal Service will collect letters to Santa along the parade route. Letters should include a return address. New this year, Valle’s Village Market will collect can goods for the TV6 Canathon during the parade. The tree lighting ceremony will take place at the commons after the parade. Families will also be able to take photos with Santa Claus.  For more information, visit www.downtownmarquette.org or contact the DDA 228-9475.    

­— Marquette Downtown Development Authority

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.