Third graders perform ‘Tom Sawyer’ |

Third graders perform ‘Tom Sawyer’

Renee Shadforth

Since December, all five third-grade classes at Truckee Elementary School have been getting ready for the presentation of “Tom Sawyer.”

Three months of practice later, and all 115 students showed their hard work was well worth it at the March 12 and 13 productions of the play.

“It was fun, but I had to give up lunch recess,” said Braden Waters, who played the mischievous Tom Sawyer. It was Waters’ first time acting in a lead role.

Each year, the third grade class at Truckee Elementary does a universally known musical. At that grade level, the students are at a prime age to learn self-discipline and the process of working with others, said musical director Jeri Collins. She worked with Bobbie Anders, who directed the students on the speaking parts.

“Some of them discover talent they might not have known they had otherwise,” Collins said. “It’s a lot of extra effort, but it’s worth it.”

Most of the students formed the chorus – dressed in overalls, straw hats, suspenders and prairie dresses. In the church scene, the chorus flooded into the audience of students and parents to sing and dance.

For some students, performing in front of a full house can be a rush and also a little scary.

“Having all the people watching me was hard, but it was still a lot of fun,” Waters said.

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