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Children at Johnson Primary School aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune sing a song during their spring musical, “Oceans of Fun,” April 20. The kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students learned about ocean animals and their habitats in celebration of Earth Day and Month of the Military Child.

Photo by Cpl. Jo Jones

Johnson Primary School kids swim in sea of music

20 Apr 2010 | Cpl. Jo Jones

Children at Johnson Primary School aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., swam in a sea of sparkles and bright colors as they showcased their talents to classmates, teachers and parents in a spring musical, “Oceans of Fun,” April 20.  The production was held in celebration of Earth Day and Month of the Military Child.

“‘Oceans of Fun’ is a culminating activity for the thematic (topic), the ocean,” said Kristi Moore, a teacher at Johnson Primary School and co-coordinator of the play.  “Kids learn about ocean animals and their habitats.”

The group of 80 kindergarteners, 1st graders and 2nd graders, nicknamed the Toucan Team, dressed up as sharks, tropical fish, sea horses, jellyfish and whales.  After the children talked about each sea creature, they sang and danced to the beats of country, rap and pop music.

“I liked how the music and dancing went together,” said Lexy Flatau, a 1st grader and a member of the Toucan Team.  “It’s a fun way to learn.  The kids get to be teachers and the teachers get to be students.”

Moore said the students, teachers and parents have been preparing for the school play for the past two months by memorizing their lines, creating the costumes and setting up the stage.  Moore said the students have not only learned more about the ocean, but also developed practical life skills.

“The children learn the value of cooperating with others to produce a final product,” said Moore.  “Getting up in front of the stage and performing public speaking is also an important skill they will use as they get older.”

Mackenzie Barksdale, a 2nd grader with the team, said she and her classmates had a lot of fun and have been anxious to perform in the end-of-the-year production.

Ensign Aaron Cagley, a registered nurse with the Nurse Corps, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, and father of Toucan Team member, Savanah, said he was impressed with how much his daughter has learned about the ocean and said the great performance reflected everyone’s hard work.

“They’re young kids and they did a really good job,” said Cagley.  “They had a nice tempo and kept up their energy.”