All Aboard The UV Elementary School's “Polar Express”

By: Michael Collins

All aboard the UV Elementary School's “Polar Express”

NEW BERLIN – The custodians and teachers aides at UV Elementary School have teamed up this holiday season to help transform one of their school's hallways into a recreation of the popular children's book and movie “The Polar Express.”

Elementary School principal, Chris Harper said, “The custodians and teachers aides have taken ‘The Polar Express’ and made it 'our' story.”

When visitors first walk in the Elementary School's main entrance, they are greeted with an audio recording of “The Polar Express” story. Above their heads they will see a banner welcoming them into “The Polar Express” hallway. As visitors make their way down the corridor, they are surrounded by visual props. Above their heads there is a multitude of paper snowflakes that dance and sway with the passing of children. Either side of the hallway is adorned with colorful train cars that each represent a different classroom or group of school employees. Each of these train cars is covered with the smiling faces of every student and staff member in the school.

Some of the train cars are displayed in three dimensions. The dining car, for instance, is represented by a table that juts out from the wall and is laid out with a meal for two. This train car bears the faces of the school's cafeteria staff.

Harper said that the idea was first introduced by Kathy Proskine, a teachers aide at UV, and Renee Collum, a teachers assistant, took all of the pictures and cut them out for the project. The custodial staff helped with all of the props used to flesh out the idea.

“The teachers aides and custodians got together and wanted to make nice memories for our students that would include everybody in the school – the bus drivers, custodians, teachers, cafeteria workers, teacher aides, and teacher assistants,” said Harper.

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