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By Kathy Carpenter

May 25, 2018 (Santee) First grade teacher Daisy Delacruz’s love for reading and musical theater is benefitting 98 students at Hill Creek Elementary School in Santee, who are gaining artistic experience beyond their young years. Directing and producing over 15 musicals in Santee and writing two plays inspired Delacruz in January to reach out for aSantee School Foundation grant.

Delacruz went before the board to describe the unique and innovative project that she proposed for her students. She was given $1900 in grant funds. She used the money to purchase costumes, spot lights, microphones, and curtains.

The musical that Delacruz wrote for four first grade classes, including 98 students, is titled “World of Wonders.  It is a reading musical. These students struggle in reading so their teacher, Mrs. Martin tells them to open from a special trunk and this magical book takes them to five lands: Punctuation Palace, Adjective Alley, Sentence Shore, Proper Noun Port, and Irregular Verb Island. Through this journey, they learn how to read and at the end, Mrs. Martin teaches them one more lesson about reading with expression and “Don’t Read Like a Robot.” Delacruz wrote the words and used the songs from our Wonders Curriculum online resources.

In her words, "My students received a hands on musical theatre experience. They learned all about stage presence, volume, diction, and theatre terms. Not only that but they learned important grammar lessons that were taught through the songs. These students will never forget this experience. I am so excited to share my passion for reading and the ARTS with students.

She is a teacher after my own heart, combining academics with musical theatre.  Delacruz is a strong believer in Steam, for you non-academics like me. That's, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. This talented teacher is finding her own way to to further her students.

The 98 first graders performed three shows in the morning on Tuesday the 22nd and one at in the evening on the 23rd.

It's wonderful to see faculty innovation hard at work at Hill Creek in Santee, working to grow their students in every way.