In December of 1976, the first Grandparents Chocolate performance took place in what was then called “the new gym.” As enrollment increased, the program grew to include kindergarten through eighth graders singing themed pieces, and the fifth grade and middle school bands performed. After the completion of The Schwartz Center, Grandparents Chocolate moved into the theater and included an evening performance for parents. With an ever increasing enrollment, the program was again downsized in 2004 to include a kindergarten through fourth grade performance, with fifth grade serving as ambassadors.
Every year as we continue this tradition, kindergarten through fourth grade students look forward to performing and sharing a visit to the classroom with their grandparents and special friends. With rehearsals, students listen more closely to one another to match pitch and to improve their diction. While staying focused, students also sharpen not only their memorization skills, but also their fine auditory skills. Research indicates that music improves language and reasoning skills and provides a way for students to express their feelings.
For fourth graders, the journey of writing an essay about someone they love can show personal growth and help develop maturity and empathy. Students celebrate each others’ successes and give their best efforts for a common cause. Along with creating a life-long bond with their community and their family, students increase their spatial intelligence through this experience.