I actually made it to Jefferson on time and headed upstairs to my regular room. These kids have been wonderful to work with over the last two sessions, and I was glad that I was familiar with them, especially after a heavy workout two hours earlier.

As they came in and settled down, they were already doing Tutti Tah for me, since I had assigned it as homework. They were already giving me back some energy. One girl, Star, even gave me a picture of a guitar. Nice.

We did the Tutti Tah with several kids leading the way. I got out my Zoom to record it as a video. The sound didn’t work as I worked with it later, so I have to work on that technology. But the kids enjoyed being filmed and they did it on their own.

Today, I introduced the banjo, explained its origins, played a tune and then played She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain as a folk song. As we went through the song, we added special ‘grandmom’ verses and movements that they came up with – cook the turkey, clean the house, say goodbye. They all responded in great spirit and didn’t think it was hokey at all. I’m proud of them.

We did I Like Peanut Butter with ‘back up’ groups of girls (The Dream Girls) and the boys (The Bro Boys) with shades on, with spotty success, but gave them the opportunity to take charge and perform in front of their peers.

We wrote a couple of verses for Name to the Animals including one for cockatoo.

I saw a bird from tropical Puerto Rico.
Its feathers – mucho colores, muy buenito.
It sings the blues like pappa do,
I think I’ll call this animal a cockatoo.

The chimpanzee one was not so good, but we were all flagging a bit at the end of the session. I was aiming to wrap things up but, again, the kids provided a strong ending. We had done Tropical Vacation the week before, so someone suggested we do it and it was a perfect finale. The kids, again, had remembered all the motions, most of the words and got up and sang and danced the song to take us home.

Once again, the kids propped me up, gave me the energy to create community with them and I got through this four hour burst of activity on a Monday afternoon. This is good work.