Preparing for Parades

Thistles and paper can transform into galloping horses. Beans and bottles make music like maracas. Paper books fly like birds. These are just a few of the things the LitWorld team learned when Ralph Lee and Casey Compton visited us this past week. Ralph and Casey have spent almost forty years putting on plays and parades for children around the world. We thought their expertise could definitely help jazz up our World Read Aloud Day celebration.

This year the first ever WRAD bus tour will travel to two New York City schools for a special reading celebration. We will be throwing a one-of-a-kind LitFest at both schools that will culminate with a grand parade, allowing students to strut their story around the school. Ralph and Casey helped us brainstorm music makers, banners, crests, books, and flags to ensure each child would be well equipped for the parade. Armed with just a ruler, two pieces of construction paper, and tape, it only took Ralph minutes to create a book that flapped its pages like wings. Watching him turn our one sided paper into animate objects was quite amazing!

Hearing their ideas and stories, got all of us excited for WRAD’s own parades. We can’t wait to see what the student’s will write on their banners and books, celebrating and sharing their stories with friends and classmates!

Ralph Lee and Casey Compton, Dorothy Lee’s parents, are the artistic and managing directors, respectively, of the Mettawee River Theatre Company. The Company creates original theater productions, which incorporate masks, giant figures, puppets and other visual elements.