The Leavers by Lisa Ko is the next PTO book club selection. Join us!

“Ko’s stunning tale of love and loyalty – to family, to country – is a fresh and moving look at the immigrant experience in America, and is as timely as ever” – Publishers Weekly

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, 11-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away—and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

Save the date: February 28, 12:30 pm in the school library

 

Spotlight on SPARC: Advocating for the Performing Arts

The Performing Arts: Building a Critical Set of Skills for Our Students

We believe that the skills learned through the performing arts enhance our students’ academic and life skills. The performing arts provide students skills in: creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, non-verbal communications, receiving/accepting feedback, collaboration, dedication, accountability and teamwork.

Summit Performing Arts Resource Committee, Inc, (SPARC) founded in 1999 by a small group of performing arts teachers and incorporated in 2003 as a non-profit organization in NJ has been supporting the performing arts in Summit public schools ever since. The Board of Trustees are parents of current students but the membership is composed of current families, alumni and their families, and community members.

The performing arts in the Summit Public Schools includes: theater, technical theater (lighting, sound, costume, makeup, construction, stage management), cabaret, speech & debate, TEDx, and STEP. Because many of the performing arts students also participate in the music programs at Summit HS, SPARC collaborates whenever possible with Summit Music Parents Association (SMPA). SMPA is a parent run organization that provides funding and volunteerism in support of music (band, choir and orchestra) for high school students.

Currently, the school district budget funds the teacher/supervisor salaries and stipends- that’s it! The spaces for the performing arts students to rehearse and perform is the classrooms, auditorium and hallways already existing for academic purposes.

Performing arts attracts and accepts all students – no one is turned away. At the same time, all of the performing arts programs across the district are totally funded by ticket sales, where relevant, parent financial and volunteer contributions for specific events, and SPARC grants for all the programs. Unlike athletics, which are heavily funded by the district with support from the Boosters, SPARCs financial support enables the performing arts to offer the quality programs and opportunities that enhance the award winning experiences for our students and the recognition for our district.

 

Summit Performing Arts Resource Committee, Inc (SPARC)

Summit Performing Arts Resource Committee (SPARC) is a non-profit corporation. Members of SPARC believe that involvement in the performing arts helps children and teens to become better educated citizens of tomorrow, by developing creativity and imagination, as well as specific skills like problem-solving, teamwork and communications through movement and vocal expression. SPARC was formed for the charitable purpose of supporting and providing programs and activities involving the performing arts in the public schools in Summit, New Jersey, as well as in the community events and programs involving Summit public school children and teens. We promote, recognize and enrich students through advocacy, financial/volunteer support, and educational initiatives in the performing arts. The organization is managed by an Executive Board of officers including President, VP/Communications, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Development Officer. The full Board includes the Executive Board and School Liaisons.

Membership

Any person who subscribes to the purpose of SPARC and pays the annual dues is eligible for membership. SPARC’s membership drive begins in September but new members are welcomed at any time with the payment of a membership fee. All members are welcomed to attend SPARC Regular meetings which are held four times a year, generally in September, November, January, and May. Membership is critically important to the support provided annually to all 7 Summit school performing arts programs.

Fundraising to Fulfill our Support Mission

SPARC provides funding support to all the Summit Public Schools through a grant process. Each school submits, through a faculty member, grant requests for workshops, instructional activities, support for the performances, fees for tournaments, and capital equipment such as spotlights, microphones, and curtains.

SPARC also funds senior scholarships for students continuing on to 2 or 4 year colleges/universities based on their contributions to the Summit performing arts. And in collaboration with SMPA, we host the Senior Salute event held every year to celebrate our graduating students who have participated in the performing arts and/or music programs of Summit High School.

Beyond membership dues, SPARC raises funds through various events throughout the year. Most notably in the past have been SPARC’ling Evening, and adult event featuring alumni, and the Pancake Breakfast featuring current Summit students. We also have smaller fundraising events such as shopping fundraisers, selling SPARC magnets, and new in 2018 a Murder Mystery Dinner, also an adult event.

It is because of the generosity of our members and friends, that we are able to support the outstanding programs offered at the Summit schools. SPARC has contributed over $370,000 in grants over the last 11 plus years and we expect to grant approximately $70,000 in 2017-2018.

 

Performance Highlights

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