On Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 Entirety K-12 School in Brooksville participated in the Brooksville Kiwanis Club’s 45th annual Christmas parade. The students had spent months working on their float in anticipation of scoring their sixth consecutive win as best float.
Rob and Penny Bryson, co-founders of the school, spearheaded the construction of the float. However, all 140 students, along with the staff, had a hand in putting it all together. This was their seventh year participating in the event. After their first year did not result in a win, the students resolved to do better.
Ms. Penny (as she is known by the students) remarked, “They take it [the float competition] very seriously regarding the design and the craftsmanship that goes into it. We sit down as a team and come up with the vision that matches the theme of the parade.”
This year’s theme was Christmas at the Movies, so the entire school brainstormed to come up with award-winning ideas. The process from start to finish took nearly two months.
“Almost every student comes up with a drawing of what their vision is. Then we take all of those drawings and start to condense the ideas down and fine-tune it. We draw inspiration from everybody,” stated Mr. Rob.
“In working on the float, the students incorporate all the things they learn in their curriculum,” Ms. Penny added.
“While the students are working on the float they’re responsible for checking in with their teachers and making sure they’re getting their schoolwork done. They’re all volunteers,” commented Mr. Rob.
It’s not just a fun project – it’s a learning experience also. The students learn the facets of using tools, the type of materials that they’re going to be using, etc.
To carry out the theme of Christmas at the Movies, they decided to incorporate several different Christmas films into the project. These included “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer” and “The Polar Express.”
The students built a Grinch out of styrofoam. Kevin Bowen, a graduate of the school who is now working as the art teacher’s assistant, carved a reindeer out of a solid piece of styrofoam.
They built a movie theater concession stand on top of the float and a movie marquee out of 2 x 4’s and foam.
Ms. Kaylee La-Placa, the visual arts teacher, commented, “They used an Art Deco motif for the marquee, so the students learned about that period in art.”
Visual and performing arts have a big part in the float and the parade. The float was rigged with music and the performing arts students danced along the parade route. They did three dances in several different styles. In keeping with the movie theme, students and staff walked along next to the float dressed as popcorn vendors.
Entirety K-12 School is a private non-sectarian school encompassing kindergarten through twelfth grade. It was founded ten years ago to serve students across the academic spectrum – from those with learning disabilities to the gifted. It stresses individualized instruction that maximizes growth in every area of a child’s development – academic, physical, social and emotional.
“One of our main visions here is talent development. I feel that is starting to slip away in education. Students sometimes go through high school and college and don’t know what they’re good at. We want students to find out what their gifts are, what their passion is. We have a nice community and family of learning,” said Ms. Penny.
Although the school did not win on Saturday, the Entirety K-12 community put forth its best effort and can feel satisfied with a job well-done. Besides, there’s always next year.