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More Than 1,200 Students Watch Charleston Light Opera Guild Production Of "Les Miserables"

Reported by: Send eMail Kennie Bass
Videographer: Larry Clark
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Nov. 5, 2013 4:33 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 6, 2013 9:31 AM EST

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Appreciating The Arts
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

In an education system where standardized testing on reading, math and science rules, some schools are still trying to instill a love of the arts in their students.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild and Clay Center production of "Les Miserables" offered an opportunity to allow middle and high school students a chance to see the legendary musical and to learn more about 19th century France. More than 1,200 students watched the performance on Tuesday.

"I just liked the opportunity to come here and see a good show," Elijah Schultz, a Hurricane High School junior, said. "It's a lot of interesting concepts that I just get a chance to come over here and see it."

A study by Americans for the Arts shows that exposure to fine arts stimulates and develops imagination and critical thinking, and has a tremendous impact on a child's developmental growth.

"I think the arts are just as important as those," Megan Barthelmess, a Hurricane High School senior, said. "I'm in show choir and a lot of my classes are for show choir and I work hard. And I think as a music student it improves me as a regular student."

And it could be something as simple as seeing a live musical that sparks a child's interest in the arts, which have been shown to build more successful students.

"To me, it just bridges that gap between what we do academically with what we are able to do with the arts," Debbie Gibson, a Hurricane High School teacher, said. "This has been a wonderful experience for our students."

Another 1,500 middle and high school students are scheduled to watch the production of "Les Miserables" on Wednesday.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild musical has one more weekend open to the public, with Friday and Saturday evening shows and a Sunday matinee.



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