Marion and Hillsboro elementary school students gathered Friday in USD 408 Performing Arts Center in Marion for a theatrical presentation by Great Plains Theatre Group of Abilene. The students nearly filled the 550-seat capacity auditorium.
The play was, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” based on Laura Numeroff children’s book of the same name.
“It’s a book that almost every kid has read or heard,” Hillsboro USD 410 District Librarian Sandy Arnold said.
After booking the play, Marion Elementary School Librarian Lori Kirkpatrick contacted Arnold about whether Hillsboro Elementary School would like to attend. Arnold checked with HES Principal Evan Yoder to see if the school had the time and money to spare, and he approved the trip.
“It’s kind of cool to be doing something collaboratively with them (Hillsboro),” Kirkpatrick said.
With school funding declining, districts are looking for ways to share resources more, USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said after the play. As an example, he said the Kansas Music Educators Association fall music festival had vocal and instrumental music in different towns. Rather than each district sending two vehicles, Hillsboro and Marion bands went together in one vehicle, and Hillsboro and Marion singers went in another.
“It worked out very well,” Noble said.
Not all of the collaborative efforts have panned out, though. Noble said the member schools of Technology Excellence in Education Network considered purchasing computers through TEEN, with the goal of receiving a discount for buying in bulk. The districts scrapped that plan because they had different computer needs.
USD 408 Superintendent Lee Leiker was happy to see the cooperation.
“That’s one of the things I keep talking about,” he said. “Steve Noble over at Hillsboro has been great to work with.”
Leiker and Noble have shared a lot of ideas of how the schools can work together, he said.