They looked like little angels'
JOLLY OLD ST. NICHOLAS Harris Upper Elementary fourth-grade students rehearse "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" for the school's Christmas program. From left are Tina McCoy, Kabresha Potts, Amanda Ahmie and Kendra Reed who played the piano accompaniment. Photo by Lynette Wilson/The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Dec. 19, 2002
Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Harris Upper Elementary performed Wednesday in the school's first Christmas program in three years.
Student-volunteers performed songs from the seasonal repertoire and acted out scenes from the Nativity for their peers and parents.
French and first-year, fifth-grade teacher Pearlie Walker organized the program.
Principal Mary Jones said the school hasn't had a Christmas program in three years because students and teachers were focusing on improving reading and math test scores.
Harris Elementary students posted improvements in all areas tested by the Mississippi Curriculum Test last spring and avoided becoming labeled a "poor performing" school. Curriculum testing will help establish benchmark levels of accreditation for schools beginning in 2003.
On a school-by-school basis, Harris Elementary showed the most improvement in Meridian.
French said the students spent two weeks rehearsing the program and that they chose the songs to sing themselves.
Fourth-grader Azia Carr said it took her four days to memorize her part 25 students went down a line reciting a holiday wish and each child's lines depended on the previous child's lines being recited correctly.
Ruth Moore, a parent, said the program got her into the Christmas spirit.
Jones said she could tell the children were in the Christmas spirit because of their behavior.