Field trip to Oz: Secret donor funds JIS field trip to see play

Published 2:39 pm Friday, March 2, 2018


Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, JIS students enjoyed a full-day field trip to Birmingham on Feb. 28 for a viewing of The Wizard of Oz production at the Virginia Samford Theatre.

“It was a surprise when we first planned it,” gifted education teacher Rachel Mims of JIS said. “He offered, and we got as many students to go as possible.”

Field-trippers included all of fifth grade, the drama club and gifted and special needs students, according to Mims.

“They loved it,” Mims said.

A “talkback” questions-and-answers session with the cast followed the play — an interaction that Mims said the students happily engaged in.

“All the actors were children from seven to 18 (years old),” Mims said. “They were amazing!”

The actors were part of the Students Taking A Role at the Samford (STARS) theatre program, according to the Virginia Samford Theatre.

Fourth grader Bryson Varden laughed when he said his favorite part of the play was “when the scarecrow was doing his dance and kept falling.”

Bryson said that during the talkback, he asked actors, “Were the scarecrow’s falls on purpose?”

“Some of them were and some of them were not,” Bryson said. “That’s what the guy who played him said.”

It was the first time for Bryson and classmate Kaylee Caton to see an entire production of the famous story.

“I’ve never watched The Wizard of Oz movie before, so I was very excited,” Kaylee said.

Kaylee said her favorite part in the play was when the apple trees “threw apples at the scarecrow and Dorothy.”

The overall verdict for the play?

In Bryson’s words, “It was awesome.”

According to JIS Principal J.D. Nix, the field trip to Birmingham is only one of many contributions made by the anonymous donor.

“I just want to thank Angie Glass for finding our private donor. He has donated more than just a field trip to Birmingham,” Nix said. “He has donated microscopes, Chrome books, bean bags and a lot of furniture for JIS and JES.”

Additional thanks were extended to Jemison Elementary School Principal Scott Ingram and JIS fifth grade teachers “for pulling it off.”