Elm Middle School talent show offers soldiers support
From left, Sarah Ihmoud, seventh grade, and Hallah Eleder, seventh grade, cheer as their peers perform in the school's "Elm's Got Talent" talent show. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:15AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Does Elm Middle School have talent?
That question was answered at the school, 7607 W. Cortland St., when about 40 students, led by teacher Sam Cannici, put their own spin on the “America’s Got Talent” television show in the school’s gymnasium. Students performed various acts, worked backstage and helped garner support for the event.
Tickets to the Nov. 15 event were too inexpensive to pass up, costing a dollar for children to sit in the bleachers, $2 for adults and $5 a person to get seats closer to the stage. The money raised will go to buy T-shirts for American soldiers in Afghanistan. The school’s name and a note of thanks will go on the back.
Cannici, who teaches social studies at Elm, said it has been a few years since the school had its last talent show. He thought it was about time for one. On Wednesday afternoon, he went over last minute details with students, describing the scenes and getting them ready to perform.
“When you are up there, get rid of the nerves and own the moment and the crowd,” he said. “Suck it up and do it.”
Two students portrayed “America’s Got Talent” judges, while Cannici portrayed Simon Cowell.
“I’ll put on my British accent and ham it up a bit,” he said.
Talent that performed by the students included dancers, singers as well as a mixed martial arts display and performances involving musical instruments, such as the piano.
There was also humor in the form of comedy skits or a student impersonating one of the teachers at the school.
With the proceeds, the school hopes to purchase at least 50 T-shirts for the soldiers and let the community know Elm Middle School students have talent.
“We’re putting this thing together on a shoestring budget,” he said. “We haven’t had a talent show in four to five years and I just wanted to see if we have talent.”