MONTREAL, JUNE, 9, 2008 – Merton Elementary School in Côte Saint-Luc transformed itself recently into an elaborate circus, as family, faculty and students flocked to the gymnasium to watch two performances of Molo’s Magnificent Merton Circus.
Molo is the physical education teacher at Merton, a post he has occupied for the past five years. The former Olympic trampoliner and gymnastics instructor was drawn to Merton because of its gymnasium and intimate environment. Unlike most gym teachers who focus on teaching conventional sports, Molo decided to add circus activities like juggling and acrobatics to the regular curriculum. It was then that the school’s principal, Raizel Candib , encouraged Molo to put together an end of the year circus show for students who wished to volunteer their time outside of class. The rest is history. “The first show was magical and from then on it became a tradition,” said Molo.
Over 40 students fromGrades 2 to 6 took part in this year’s performance which left the audience awe struck. There were jugglers, unicyclists, gymnasts and even a girl who played the violin while standing on a moving circus ball! The participants along with Molo volunteered their recess periods and lunch hours for the duration of the school year in order to make the show a reality. “The kids are extremely motivated they always want to come,” said Molo.
For Molo, the amazing thing about the circus is that everyone can participate because there’s something for each person. “Each student has a knack for something, I just direct them in the right direction” said Molo. Staying true to his words, the show was in fact made up of students of different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and levels of experience. Molo hopes to teach his students that you don’t have to look a certain way to be an athlete; all you need is drive and determination.
Although he is rather modest, Principal Candib believes that Molo’s impact on the students reaches far beyond the classroom and the stage. “The circus program gives them the kind of strength and confidence that they need to deal with the issues in their lives. It lets them know that they can reach for the stars,” said Ms. Candib.
Although for the past couple of years Merton has been synonymous with its circus program, which has attracted many students and parents to the school, Ms. Candib stresses the fact that Merton excels in all other departments as well. “We are blessed to have an incredible staff in general at Merton, who are very dedicated to the students,” she said.
Merton has 260 students enrolled in its French immersion program. .
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