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Rockford University hosts field trip for Rock Cut first-graders

03/21/2017 4:00 pm

Reggie getting high-fives as students join him on stageROCKFORD — Faculty at Rockford University’s Clark Arts Center taught some younger-than-average students Tuesday morning, March 21, hosting 20 lively first-graders from Rock Cut Elementary School in Loves Park.

Leonard Pink, a longtime classroom volunteer at Rock Cut Elementary, spearheaded this special field trip through his membership on the board for Friends of the Performing Arts at Rockford University, and helped organize the event through RU Professor of Performing Arts and Department Chair Deborah Mogford.

“In one of my meetings with Ms. Mogford, I said, ‘We would like to bring students here,’” said Pink, a retired social worker. “And she said, ‘Great!’”

The highlight of the morning was a ride on Maddox Theatre’s stage lift with RU mascot Reggie the Regent, and students also got lessons on lighting, measurement and movement, had lunch and finished the day learning a dance. Teachers from Rock Cut created a unique mash-up of left- and right-brain learning with Tuesday’s performing arts experience, rotating the 6- and 7-year-olds through three behind-the-scenes stations.

“There’s nothing specifically that we’re focusing on,” said Brittany Schmidt, one of the first-grade teachers from Rock Cut whose class participated. “But they’re being exposed to science and math, which is great.”

Another first-grade group of about two dozen students from Rock Cut Elementary will visit Rockford University on Thursday morning, March 23, to complete the field trip.