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Norwich schools staff take the stage in fundraiser talent show

Norwich — If you want to see an example of how a little money can go a long way, it will be on stage Friday evening at the Jacqueline Owens Auditorium at Kelly STEAM Magnet Middle School.

The sixth version of the Staff Follies to benefit the Norwich Public Schools Education Foundation will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The event features Norwich school staff, Board of Education members and guests performing various acts in a variety talent show. The fundraiser, held every two years, raised nearly $1,000 for the education foundation two years ago, and foundation President Mark Cook hopes to exceed that total this year.

Prior to follies, at 6 p.m., the Norwich middle school instrumental band featuring students at Kelly and the Teachers’ Memorial Global Studies Magnet Middle School will perform.

Middle school instrumental music had been eliminated in Norwich in budget cuts many years ago and reviving the program by restoring and repairing old instruments and getting donations of new ones was one of the first goals of the education foundation.

“The night also highlights the progress instrumental music has made at both Kelly STEAM and Global Studies at Teachers' Memorial Middle School since being reinstated several years ago,” Cook said.

The University of Connecticut Jazz Band also will perform Friday. Norwich Board of Education member Joyce Werden, who will retire from the board this month, invited the band, and Norwich will send a school bus to pick up the 15 band members for Friday’s performance, Cook said.

At least six acts will perform in the follies, some individuals and some group performances, including singing and dance routines. Norwich Free Academy visual and performing arts teacher Tonya Laymon also plans to perform.

Advance tickets are $5 per person. Admission is $10 at the door. Students 15 and under admitted free. For tickets, call (860) 367-1812 or email npseducationfoundation@gmail.com, or in person at the Norwich Public Schools central office, 90 Town St. Tickets can be purchased online at www.npseducationfoundation.org/staff-follies/.

c.bessette@theday.com

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