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Featured Experiences

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Scott Ainslie is a traditional acoustic Blues singer, guitarist, historian and songwriter with personal roots in the Civil Rights era and a great affection for cross-cultural exchange. He is a powerful musician, a fine singer and a masterful storyteller. Peppered with humor and stories, Ainslie’s teaching concerts help students and teachers learn to listen for the musical building blocks that continue to influence the music they hear all around them today – contemporary Rock, Bluegrass, Country, Gospel, Metal, R & B, and Hip-Hop.

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Adaptation of birds to their environment.

Crafts for Learners

STEAM enrichment — low-tech robotics, electronics and coding

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Multi-lingual songs from around the globe.

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This talk has a strong anti Bullying message as well as sharing the struggles growing up as a second language child not learning to read until the 4th grade. Life changing message for all that hear this talk.

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James Bruchac was raised in the Adirondack foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York. A member of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe, and eldest son of Abenaki and Adirondack storyteller Joseph Bruchac III, James grew up immersed in the natural world, storytelling and native culture.

James has both authored and co-authored books for all ages. Children’s books include How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, Turtle’s Race with Beaver, Rabbit’s Snow Dance, Raccoon’s Last Race, When the Chenoo Howls and Native American Games and Stories. General public titles include Scats and Tracks of the Northeast, Scats and Tracks of the Southeast, and Scats and Tracks of the Mid-Atlantic. James also co-authored The Girl Who Helped Thunder, an anthology of Native American tales. James is a member and former president of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Upcoming releases include Kids in the Woods, James Bruchac’s Animal Tracking Adventure Guide, James Bruchac’s Woodland Survival Tips and The Stories He Tells, the Story of Joseph Bruchac.

As a professional storyteller James has shared stories at hundreds of schools and libraries across the country. Whether telling an interactive animal story or a monster tale, he keeps listeners of all ages on the edge of their seats as well as part of the action. James has performed at many festivals, museums including the Smithsonian Discovery Theater (Washington DC), the Corn Island Storytelling Festival (KY), Noble Tales Festival and the Connor Prairie Museum (IN), Indian Summer and Riverbend Festivals (WI), The Boston Children’s Museum and the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum (MA), the Hudson River Clearwater Festival, the Noteworthy Indian Museum, and The Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake (NY). James and other members of his family were featured on the PBS special Adirondack Storytellers (WMHT/PBS).

As a naturalist and outdoor educator James has conducted tracking and wilderness survival-based research in all corners of the United States and Lower Canada. He has also traveled to places such as West Africa and Central America and continues his work with John Stokes and The Tracking Project in Corales, New Mexico. James is a graduate of the Tracking Project’s “Nurturing The Roots Community Mentor Program.” James’ tracking & wilderness programs include a variety of learning experiences: primitive and modern survival techniques, animal tracking, appreciation of the natural world, and Native uses of natural resources among other things.

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In addition to the wonderful reading themes, these shows engage students with important positive messages including self-esteem, anti-bullying, safety, basic visualization & goal setting techniques for improved results, along with most customized themes. A particular book theme can be incorporated into the reading program, otherwise I use standard classics for grades attending. Likewise, “Take PRIDE!” Character education show is customized for grades attending.

Remember, students learn much more effectively through visual presentations, such as these. They really relate to the presentations’ fun, participatory format, thus ensuring the positive, educational messages are absorbed.

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Author visit with equal interactive focus on writing and illustrating.

This site indexes hundreds of curriculum-enhancing experiences available to educators served by Capital Region BOCES, Champlain Valley BOCES, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES, Questar III BOCES, and Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES.

For more, see the full index or use our Advanced Search.

When we give our children the chance to experience and connect with the arts, we are developing creative thinkers, imaginative problem solvers, empathetic human beings, and the artists and audiences of the future.

When we give our children the chance to experience and connect with the arts, we are developing creative thinkers, imaginative problem solvers, empathetic human beings, and the artists and audiences of the future.

New Artists

James Gillaspie – All in a Knight’s Work

Did ‘broad swords’ really weigh ten pounds? Did knights need cranes to lift them into the saddle? If a knight was knocked down, was his armor so heavy that he couldn’t get up? What was the life of a knight in shining armor really like? ‘All in a Knight’s Work’ answers these and many other questions, touching on a number of subjects, not just history. There were no cameras back when armor was being worn, so art in the form of paintings and sculpture is very important when it comes to what the soldiers of various times and countries looked like. Very often the great artists of the past used soldiers as their subjects, and often painted portraits of men wearing their armor. Indeed, it can be rightly said that European plate armor has its roots in the Renaissance, since the artists of Italy, especially, studied human anatomy so carefully, and this improved understanding of the human body directly affected armor design. They did such a good job that it will be decades before modern body armor designers catch up with them!
James Arlen Gillaspie is a professional cleaner /repairer/ restorer of late medieval and Renaissance arms and armor, who often makes accurate reproductions of plate armor of the 15th and 16th centuries. He has visited seventeen European armor collections, and has handled many world famous pieces and uncounted lesser works. He also wears the stuff, having participated in reenactments in Europe and many rough-and-tumble recreated battles, single combats, and melees in the Western Martial Arts community. For many years before he left Flagstaff, Arizona, he belonged to the Tattershall School of Defense led by William E. Wilson, who lectures internationally on historic fencing. He has attended a number of workshops of the Schola of St. George, paying particular attention to the fighting techniques once taught by Fiore dei Libari, an Italian knight who wrote Floss Duelatorum in the year 1410, and the German 15th century author Sigmund Ringeck.

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