Sullivans School Celebrates 14th Annual Mime Festival
Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan — The Sullivans School, on board Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka (CFAY), held its 14th annual Multiple Intelligence Festival on May 20 to the delight of students, parents, host nation presenters, sailors, and teachers. Commonly referred to as the MIME Festival, this yearly celebration of the educational theories of Dr. Howard Gardner has grown into an international cultural and recreational festival which is unanimously thought of as a highlight of the Sullivans School year. The Festival is the brainchild of Dr. Andre Elliott, a former teacher at Sullivans who has since moved on but left a wonderful legacy behind him. His legacy was carried on this year by Rory Vallis, Sullivans' multiage teacher who led a committee of talented volunteers who organized the festival. Vallis stated, “Each presentation, in and of itself, has the power to shape a student's interests, and possibly their future career. All of the presentations taken together create a mosaic of community and enthusiasm, the memory of which will stay with students for a lifetime.
Dr. Howard Gardner is a psychologist at Harvard University. Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences states that not only do human beings have many different ways to learn and process information, but these methods are independent of each other: leading to multiple intelligences. Gardner lists eight intelligences as linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, nature, and intrapersonal intelligences.
This year‘s incarnation of the Festival highlights included a performance by the Bill Scholer Band. Scholer teaches guitar at Yokosuka Community Center, a Roller Derby presented by Yokosuka’s own hometown team of all female skaters, The Sushi Rollers, A Ninja Show by Shinobi Zero, Taiko Drummers Kosui, and Kathy Korcal, and an outdoor education class presented local Yokosuka boy and Girl Scout troops.
Our host nation contributed a hip hop dance class from HanaDan Japan, while the Sparkling Spurs, a Japanese country and western dance group, taught the children line dancing formations. Koto playing, KagaKai Japanese dance, Ikebana, tea ceremonies, kimono wearing, origami, taishogato, kendama, shamisen, and calligraphy classes were also held. Many members of the Yokosuka International Association, (YIA) presented this year.
The USNH Health Promotion Department set up a fitness circuit for students. And the Navy Divers demonstrated their skills for several classes. One particularly hard working group, the US Navy Band, Orient Express performed at recess. Their set included a roof-raising rendition of Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk” delivered while all the other presenters and teachers enjoyed an international potluck buffet provided by Sullivans' parents. The Navy Band’s Brass Quintet also played for students at the Chapel of Hope. Dana Tanio, Sullivans Kindergarten teacher coordinated volunteers from several different units from CFAY, particularly BM-1 (SW/EXW) John D. Van Ells and CSCS (SW) Mark Ernest of the transient personnel unit and the Fleet Coordinating Group.
The Yokosuka Middle School track and field team demonstrated track skills. Nile C. Kinnick High School (KHS) teachers taught the children volleyball skills and cooking classes. Many Japanese cultural classes were taught in Japanese with translators provided by KHS and parent volunteers. The KHS Spanish Honor Society taught a crafts class and the KHS national Honor Society contributed numerous volunteers to help run the Festival. In addition, the children learned about magic, bird watching, human nature observation, pantomime, music recording, theatre improvisation, and Zumba dance.
In all, over 200 presenters performed all day long in over 50 different presentations at 16 different venues all over Yokosuka base. The Sullivans Mime Day committee would like to thank the following community agencies who donated space, time and/or money for the festival; the George I. Purdy Fitness Center, Chapel of Hope, Base Housing, Community Readiness Center, FAST offices, Kinnick High School, Yokosuka Middle School, MWR Youth Sports, Yokosuka International Association, Benny Decker Theater, MWR Entertainment, CFAY transportation, and most of all, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and administration of The Sullivans School who made it all happen.