"It takes a village to raise a child."
I'm changing that slogan up a bit - It takes a village to put on a small-school musical.
That was my thought on Saturday night, watching the final performance of the CC-E High School musical, "Li'l Abner."
About half the school's students were on the stage, behind the stage, or running the lights and sound. Director, aka choir teacher, band director, study hall supervisor, Theresa Ortmann was at the keyboard, one eye on the keys, the other on the action onstage.
Parents manned the box office and ran the concession stand at intermission. They had fed the students during dress rehearsals earlier in the week, scoured their basements and closets for costumes and props, and pumped up the box office take by attending not one, or two, but all three performances.
I love the "can do" spirit you see around this area. Just because a student body is small, that doesn't mean aspirations have to be. Being involved in everything isn't impossible, in fact it's encouraged. I know of large schools where students begin their "track" as early as middle school. You're a basketball player, a drama student, a soccer star or a band member. You certainly can't do it all.
That's not the case here. At CC-E, play practices began at 6 p.m. Why? So those track kids could finish their workouts and hit the stage. For many, that meant a school day that ran from 8 a.m. or earlier till 9 or 10 at night without a break.
Ninety-nine percent of high school students aren't going to be professional athletes, actors or singers. As teens, the opportunity to participate in a wide array of activities results in a more well-rounded, open-minded adult. Isn't that what high school is about?
It takes a lot of support for students to do all those activities. Teachers who go the extra mile, parents who keep dinners warm well past supper time, community members willing and enthusiastic about supporting their students.
It can get hectic, take it from a parent who attended all three of those performances, and is looking forward (I'm kidding) to helping decorate for prom and staying up half the night to assist with after-prom festivities.
But, it's worth it. I know where my kid is -- at a school-sponsored activity -- and who he's with. I know he's having fun and learning new skills. I know his self-confidence grows stronger every day. I'm more than happy to do whatever I can to support those who make those things possible.
And so are a lot of other parents, which makes it all possible.