DONALDSONVILLE - Torrential rain and faulty microphones didn’t stop the students of the Bright Futures 21st Century Community Learning Center from staging on Sunday their version of “The Lion King.”
“They’ve worked so hard, please be patient with us while we try and fix the sound,” learning center Director Donna Gaignard announced when the audience couldn’t hear the actors in the first act of the production.
As workers scurried to fix the sound problems, a heavy rain storm pounded on the Donaldsonville Lemann Memorial Center’s metal roof, making it harder to hear the actors.
The play was a culmination of the six-week camp, which was attended by more than 220 Donaldsonville students in third to 10th grade, she said.
Throughout the summer camp, Gaignard said, the students worked on the songs for the play in music class and the dance moves in dance sessions. Students enrolled in sewing classes created some of the costumes, she said.
“We had some great staff and volunteers to work with the kids this summer,” she said.
Mayor Leroy Sullivan praised Gaignard’s staff for their efforts.
He also encouraged parents to talk to their legislators about renewing the funding for the program. The city received a three-year 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant through the Louisiana Department of Education to fund the program, and the mayor said funding for the center’s future is in jeopardy.
For parent Tamiko Garrison, the summer program resulted in her daughter’s latest hobby - sewing.
“My whole house is filled with sewing things,” said Garrison, the mother of 12-year-old Tamiko Stroud. “She just loves it.”
Stroud showed off her acting skills on stage as she portrayed the evil Scar.
Ascension School’s Assistant Superintendent Denise Graves said the camp provided summertime learning experiences and enrichment activities for students in the Donaldsonville area.
After solving the microphone problem, the show continued. The students sung many of the songs made popular by the movie and stage production.
The program ended with a performance by the students in the program’s violin program.
Instructor Cori Bodley, 20, of Baton Rouge, said many of the students who performed “had never heard of classical music before they started the class.”
Gaignard said she hopes to expose more children to new cultural experiences through the center’s next session.
For information on the center, call the Mayor’s Office at (225) 473-4247.