2009-10-14 / Front Page

Book Readers and Hornblowers blend music with history

By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

A future horn blower Delphi Elementary fifth-grader Briana Robertson tried out a French horn after the Book Readers and Hornblowers Oct. 2 afternoon presentation. Gail Lewis provided the introduction to the potential band member as part of the educational program which combined history, reading and music. Photo provided A future horn blower Delphi Elementary fifth-grader Briana Robertson tried out a French horn after the Book Readers and Hornblowers Oct. 2 afternoon presentation. Gail Lewis provided the introduction to the potential band member as part of the educational program which combined history, reading and music. Photo provided There was horn blowing and story reading at Delphi Community Elementary School and Camden Early Education Center Oct. 2. The local non-profit group, Book Readers and Horn Blowers, is dedicated to the enhancement of the cognitive development of children through reading, music and an exploration of important figures in American history.

The biography delivered to Delphi Community School Corporation elementary students was “Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky” by Faith Ringgold, which was accompanied by predominantly Gospel music. The story is about Harriet Tubman, who was instrumental in freeing slaves by using the Underground Railroad in the 1860’s during the Civil War.

Although the presentation was scheduled for the school before principal Joe Brown assumed the leadership role at Delphi Elementary, he said he supported not only the subject matter but the delivery as well.

“This is a great way to involve music and literacy to enhance the learning experience for students,” he said.

Book Readers and Horn Blowers use props, posters with music terms and lyrics, audience participation and songs as part of the interactive program. Following the presentation, students are required to complete a questionnaire, which serves as an assessment tool for the group, with questions based on the material contained in the program.

According to fifth-grade teacher Cassie Gasser, a program is hosted at Delphi Elementary at least every two years, if not more often.

“Kids really like the presentations and the program,” she said.

In addition, after the program is presented to fifthgraders, the students, who would be transitioning into the band program, are given an opportunity to experience the instruments and their sounds one-on-one with a Hornblower group member.

Book Readers and Hornblowers group and program information can be found on the Web site at

www.bookreaders4kids.org.

The programs presented to Delphi elementary students were sponsored from donations by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, the Indiana Arts Commission, Flora Psi Iota Xi, Delphi Lions Club and state and local merchants.

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