“Yes, Virginia, the Musical” is coming to the stage at Central Primary School thanks to a $1,000 grant from Macy’s holiday Believe campaign.
The musical is an original production based on a true story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897, inquiring about the existence of Santa Claus. The school musical program debuted in 2012 as part of Macy’s Believe campaign and has been performed by elementary and middle schools nationwide.
Central Primary School will stage the production at 7 p.m. Dec. 17-18.
Macy’s has made the script and score for “Yes, Virginia, the Musical” available royalty-free to schools and has created a free, digital toolkit on yesvirginiamusical.com. Macy’s has offered $1,000 grants to 100 schools each year since the program’s introduction. Grant recipient schools put their funds to use to purchase everything from costumes and set materials to sound and lighting equipment.
Trey Veazey, a third-grade teacher at Central Primary, applied for the grant this past summer. He hoped that this opportunity would present itself in order to engage students through the arts, a news release from Macy’s said.
Because the school has no music or art teachers, winning the grant would provide a link to arts integration, the release said.
“As educators, we know that nurturing creativity is essential to higher student achievement. Research has proven it time and again. The evidence is there,” Veazey said. “While it is certainly important to expose students to the arts, which teachers have done a great job of for many years, it is vital to integrate it throughout the culture of the school.
“Doing so really allows for multiple learning pathways, and that gets to the heart of our parish’s mission to help every child be successful regardless of the affecting factors that may surround them.”
Veazey said he is grateful for Macy’s “for this chance to potentially impact the lives of our students in a life-altering way.”
“Preparing for the show has infused our school with an inimitable joy, and the performances are sure to be a highlight of the holiday season here in Gonzales,” he said.
“The magical performances from ‘Yes, Virginia, the Musical’ have been a highlight the last two holiday seasons,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “Each year, we are inspired by the enthusiastic response from schools across the country and the creative young talent who bring the story of Virginia O’Hanlon to life. Macy’s is proud to offer ‘Yes, Virginia, the Musical’ again, and we look forward to another season of magical performances.”
The Believe campaign, which supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, encourages children to drop their stamped letter to Santa at the red Santa Mail letterbox at the local Macy’s or to visit macys.com/believe to create and send a letter. For every letter received, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, helping to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.