Open Mic Night raises $500 for Shrewsbury schools
By Rebecca Kensil, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Residents of all ages stepped up to the podium May 17 at Floral Street Elementary School to perform original pieces such as poetry, stories, essays, and songs for the first “Open Mic Night,” organized by the Celebration in the Garden Party Committee. The evening benefited Shrewsbury Public Schools, and according to event organizer Maria Munro, ticket and bake sales raised $500 by the night's end.
First to perform was local children's author April Jones Prince, who read an original piece she wrote as a child. She encouraged students to go for their dream despite their doubts, noting that she “wasn's a bang-up writer” when she was their age.
The students then displayed their talents as they took turns reading their works.
“What I most liked about the show and what I applaud the most is each and every performer's confidence, courage, and creativity,” Munro said after the show.
The event has a creative beginning. It was inspired by an annual writing project called “The Best Part of Me,” created by Spring Street Elementary School third grade teacher Shannon?Tougher three years ago. The project celebrates each student's uniqueness, so each member of the entire third-grade class writes about their favorite body parts each year. The project itself was inspired by the book “The Best Part of Me,” by Wendy Ewald.
At the event, approximately 20 students read their pieces aloud and said what they liked about their hands, feet, legs, eyes, and more. Then other students read original pieces.
Some of the children are already anticipating next year's event, Munro said.
“Many performers approached me after the show and expressed interest in doing it again next year,” Munro said. “It was very fulfilling for me to be able to provide a stage and a forum for this budding young talent.”
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