Little girl’s adoption hearing has a Disney twist!

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5-year-old Danielle Koning was already in for a pretty incredible day when she arrived at her final adoption hearing. Thanks to a thoughtful surprise, it became really magical.

To celebrate the girls’ adoption, foster care staff members at Samaritas in Grand Rapids, Michigan, dressed as Disney princesses for the final proceedings.

The judge even dressed as Snow White.
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Danielle’s case manager, Kristina Grey, is the brains behind the whole operation. According to MLive, she first asked a coworker to dress as Cinderella (Danielle’s favorite Disney princess), then decided an all-princess affair was in order.
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“I’m just blown away at the amount of support and how much all my co-workers jumped on board,” she said.
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Danielle is now at home with her adoptive parents, Jim and Sarah Koning.

You can watch full video of Danielle’s big day below:

Easter Assembly – Hidden Meanings

Easter - Hidden Message of Easter

My favourite Easter assembly is the egg on your head assembly, but having done this at our local special educational needs secondary school I needed a different Easter assembly.  Lacking time to plan I turned to the fantastic schoolwork.co.uk website where I came across a brilliant assembly on Hidden Meanings.

They provide a script and Keynote and PowerPoint presentations:

You will need:

  • “Hidden Message “PowerPoint/Keynote presentation (see above)
  • Small eggs as prizes
  • A Barbie novelty easter egg (or something equally as exciting!)
  • The Real Easter Egg (see note at bottom of next page)

Introduction:

Welcome the students to their assembly, introduce yourself and say that you’d like to begin the assembly today by talking about easter eggs. Explain that you don’t mean the kind of chocolate easter eggs that you eat. Easter eggs are hidden messages in computer games, art, tv shows and even web sites. Say that before introducing them to some of those hidden messages, you will first have some fun with chocolate easter eggs too.

Easter egg games:

You can show some pictures of classic easter eggs on screen and get the assembly to cheer for their favourite (award the head of year with whichever one they pick!). Then say if they want to win an Easter egg too, they have a chance to do that by seeing whether they can guess the favourite Easter egg of these stars:

  • Justin Bieber: An American easter candy called Peeps (marshmallows in the shape of easter chicks)
  • Adele: Green & Blacks Organic Easter Egg
  • Usher: Cadbury’s Crunchie
  • The Wanted: Cadbury’s Creme Egg

(NB: You will need to control this game well, keep up the pace and award any winners with a small egg)

Hidden message ‘easter eggs’:

Remind students that you were about to show them some examples of easter eggs in movies, art and even computer games. Go on to show what you mean by introducing three examples of easter eggs (pictures on the PowerPoint/Keynote accompany these):

  1. UP (2009): In the part near the end, where Carl and Russel are pointing out red and blue cars, it starts to zoom out. There, in the back parking lot to the left, is the Pizza Planet truck. The Pizza Planet truck has been in every Disney/Pixar film since Toy Story.
  2. Michelangelo’s art: On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome, the center of the ceiling is “The Creation of Adam” also know as the “ET” part of the painting. The figure on the right who represents God has a red robe flowing around him and angels surrounding him. This is actually a cross section view of a human brain. The robe forms the outer limit and the feet of God and the angels form the spinal cord.
  3. Call of Duty Modern Warware: After You’ve finished the last level (Game over/The end) the credits come up. What you have to do is to listen through all the credits until the first song ends, then Sgt. Grigg’s brand new rap Song about the COD4 series (you can look it up on YouTube).

Challenge

[Hold up a large classic chocolate egg]: This is the kind of egg most people imagine when we talk about Easter. Choose an egg that’s as silly and frivolous as possible, a Barbie branded egg for example, and ask students to think about whether there could be a hidden message in this egg as well. The answer is ‘no’! This is just a cheesy silly egg, although at least it’s made of chocolate.

Hold up the ‘Real Easter Egg’ * and explain this is an egg that does claim to have a hidden meaning. It’s been made by a company that wanted to make an egg that explained the meaning of Easter for millions of Christians around world. For them, Easter symbolises the belief that Easter brings new hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus. To Christians, it’s one of the most sacred and important moments of the year, especially given their belief that Jesus was seen alive by hundreds of people on Easter Sunday after being crucified on Good Friday. To these Christians, the chocolate egg has often been seen to represent the boulder or stone that was rolled away from the burial tomb where Jesus’ body had been put.

Allow the students reflect on the question on the final slide of the presentation “What might the hidden message of Easter mean for you this year?” and use a moment of silence while they reflect.

Disney’s Paperman

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The Disney animated short Paperman is up for an Oscar this year. The technique used to produce it is a combination of hand-drawn art and computer animation, giving it the feel of a classic Disney film.

Paperman‘s seemingly seamless way of blending the personality of hand-drawn animation with CGI in the physical space of the story is the result of new in-house software called Meander, a vector-based drawing program that allows for manipulation of the line after the fact — something that Kahrs described as “just like painting on the surface of the CG.”

In practice, it successfully blends the best of both forms of animation together in way they’ve never been seen before. Depicting George and Meg as flat, drawn characters keeps them safely out of the uncanny valley that even the best CGI sometimes can’t avoid and somehow makes them seem more real; other sequences, like the multiple paper airplanes zooming through the air, would be far less convincing and far more time-consuming if rendered without the help of computer generated imagery.

The plot? Boy meets girl, of course.