Valley Grove gifted students head back to ancient Egypt

Students watch as their classmates, Abigayle Williams and Madeleine Wielandt, practice for tonight's performance. (Photo by Natasha Brenneman)

Ancient Egypt will come alive tonight as Valley Grove Elementary School gifted students perform a production of “The Nile Network” at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the school cafeteria.

The students have been studying ancient Egypt for two years as part of the gifted curriculum.

The production will be set up as a look at the culture through the eyes of television.

The students have written many of the segments as part of class assignments and designed pieces of the sets and some clothing they will wear for the production. The segments, all with the theme of Egyptian culture, include commercials, talk shows, a game and a news broadcast.

The students are all very excited with touches of nervousness and are eager to demonstrate their knowledge. A total of 25 students make up the group from grades 2 through 6.

When asked how they liked working in a mixed age range, the students all agreed that the best way to describe the group was a big family. That was clear during rehearsal Monday when each act was met with supportive claps and giggles at the jokes written into the script.

Each student has a special part and all of them will get to show what they’ve learned. The students are under the instruction of gifted facilitator.

“They are all so excited to show their families what we’ve been working on,” Martin said.

Martin started working with the students on the program in February.

“I really enjoy blending the different levels together, it’s fun and I love to keep challenging them,” Martin said.

Students won’t be the only ones getting in on the fun as staff and administrators will take on roles to help the students make their production come to life.

Principal Jake Saullo and student services coordinator Marty Aylesworth have stepped up to help as both are performing along with students tonight.

As a special surprise to the students they will all receive awards after the program for their hard work. Martin called the award an Ibis award after the bird that had much meaning in the ancient Egyptian culture.

The community is invited to the event that should last about an hour. A reception of cookies and punch will follow the program.

Volunteers from the audience will be needed to participate in segments of the program.