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Gatewood Elementary School Presents Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song

April 29, 2011


Gatewood Elementary School Presents Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™

Minnetonka, MN – Gatewood Elementary School will host a community celebration honoring three elders at the Gatewood Elementary School gymnasium on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Elder Wisdom, Children’s Song™ community celebration will be hosted by America’s Troubadour, Larry Long, and is free and open to the public.

Long has been working in partnership with the West Metro Education Program (WMEP) to provide the Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ process for schools that are members of the WMEP consortium through his non-profit, Community Celebration of Place. Recently, Long has been working with first and fourth grade students at Gatewood Elementary School to collectively write songs and gather recitations that honor the life stories of the following community elders:

  • Gayle Andrs: Former Gatewood teacher and current volunteer at Gatewood as well as at the Burwell House in Minnetonka.
  • Barry Bonoff: Retired store owner and current volunteer at Gatewood Elementary
  • Sahra Osman: Mother, Somali refugee.

Contact Information:
Larry Long, Executive Director
Community Celebration of Place
3357 – 36th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Kristi Wright
Gatewood Elementary School
14900 Gatewood Dr
Minnetonka, MN 55345


Larry Long, called "a true American Troubadour" by author Studs Terkel, has made his life work the celebration of American stories and heroes. In a curriculum called Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song™, he has brought these heroes to the classroom to share their oral history with our younger generation. A Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, Larry has sung at major festivals, concerts and events throughout the U.S. and internationally. Long is a recipient of the prestigious Bush Artists Fellowship, the Pope John XXIII Award and In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for his work in forgotten communities. (www.larrylong.org)

Founded out of demand for Long’s work across the country, Community Celebration of Place is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that uses oral history, music and art to strengthen schools and communities. For more information visit www.communitycelebration.org.


The West Metro Education Program (WMEP) School District was formed in 1989 to cooperatively address integration issues in the west metro area. The mission of WMEP is to build the collective capacity of its members; to raise the achievement of all students; to eliminate the racial achievement gap; and to prepare all learners to thrive in a diverse world through regional leadership, integrated learning opportunities, shared resources, and mutual support.
Member districts of WMEP are: Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony/New Brighton, St, Louis Park, and Wayzata. (wmep.k12.mn.us)

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Lucy Craft Laney Community School will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring three community elders on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

Open World Learning Community will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring four community elders on Friday, June 5, 2015.

Glen Lake Elementary School will host an Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song celebration honoring three community elders in their gym on Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM.


I had the most awesome musical experience of my life—when I heard the fourth grade children at Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion school sing “Your Song” honoring our Elders! One of the elders was my son John. WHAT A SONG!

Thank You, Jack Tschida

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