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Valley View Elementary to Host Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ Celebration

February 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2010

Community Celebration of Place and Valley View Elementary Present Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™

Columbia Heights, MN – Valley View Elementary will host a community celebration at the Valley View Elementary gymnasium on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm. The 4th grade students will honor three elders with strong ties to the Columbia Heights Community. The Elder Wisdom, Children’s Song™ community celebration will be hosted by America’s Troubadour, Larry Long, and is free and open to the public. Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song™ is an educational process developed by Long, which honors history and celebrates diversity through writing and performing songs.

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. Each Valley View fourth grade classroom interviewed one of the elders, and with Mr. Long’s assistance, wrote a song to celebrate their elder’s life story. The community elders who will be honored are:

  • Yewanda Abubakar: Moved from Nigeria to the United States for greater freedom and opportunity.
  • Linda Kosloski: A passionate volunteer within the school and community.
  • Salvador Mendoza: Moved to the United States from a small rural town in Mexico.

Contact Information:
Larry Long, Executive Director
larryl@communitycelebration.org
Community Celebration of Place
3357 36th Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55406
612-722-9775

Scott Tryggeseth, Principal
tryggess@colheights.k12.mn.us
Valley View Elementary School
800 49th Avenue NE
Columbia Heights, MN 555421
763-528-4200

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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 communities and foster reconciliation. For more information visit www.communitycelebration.org.

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)

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)

Testimonials

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

Read more

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