Editor:

Gretchen Martens told me to look up the Fort Leavenworth Lamp to see your write up and photographs of the “The Littlest Christmas Trees” by the MacArthur Elementary School kindergarteners. I’m so glad the tradition continues! Loved your coverage and photos. Nicely done.

This play was started  more than 40 years ago at MacArthur by Delores Thompson, who is now deceased. The children initially performed the play in their classroom.

Delores and Barbara Ernzen brought the play to the stage. Barb played all of the songs on the piano, adding “Susie Snowflake,” “Frosty” and “Rudolph” to the main script. Barbara continued the tradition and passed on the songs, script and choreography of the play to the rest of us. It has gone through many adaptations, believe me, but continues to be timeless in presentation.

Throughout the years, parents, grandparents and staff have contributed to this production by sewing costumes, providing the sleigh and reindeer set pieces and backdrop, and lots of technical assistance. This is a true community effort that is much appreciated.

Throughout the years when I subbed, and now when I receive graduation announcements, the play is one of the main experiences that all of the students remember from their kindergarten year at MacArthur.

I subbed one time at Eisenhower for fifth grade when two students realized that they had both been in my kindergarten class. Their immediate query to one another was “What were you in the play?” One was a soldier and one was a snowman.

This year I received a graduation announcement from one of my students, and he recalled that he had played Santa, and his best friend was Santa’s soldier. Both are now freshmen in college, and Santa’s soldier … well he has come a long way from his stage debut and is in a rock band! 

So delighted you were able to feature the play in the Lamp.  Thank you!

Happy Holidays,

Ada Shea
Retired Unified School District 207 kindergarten teacher

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