Students Say “Yay” To Animal Magic and “No Way” To Drugs

As an elementary age student, theme days are always the best. The chance to take an ordinary school ...

As an elementary age student, theme days are always the best. The chance to take an ordinary school day, and make it into something extraordinary is welcomed with enthusiastic amusement. Red Ribbon Week at Southshore Elementary was no exception.

On an extra special Wednesday dozens of excited students, proudly donning their red tee-shirts and ribbons, bounced down the hallways to their much anticipated Red Ribbon assembly.

Red Ribbon Week
red ribbon week
With the remnant smell of breakfast syrup still emanating through the school cafeteria little bundles of energy eagerly sat on the floor in semi-straight rows.

Just when it seemed their excitement could no longer be contained, in a commotion of activity, a safari-clad John Abrams took the stage and all eyes were suddenly on him. He began by asking the audience what Red Ribbon Week is all about?

red ribbon week
red ribbon week
red ribbon week
The immediate responses were nothing short of candidly age appropriate. An eager little boy, no more than six years old shouts, “It means you wear red!” Followed by stifled laughter from teachers and parents.

A little girl then volunteers, “Red Ribbon Week means you say no to drugs.” Bingo! And just like that, the show is set in motion. For the next hour Abrams performs a succession of engaging magic tricks each involving an animal and each carrying with it a valuable message.

Through his magic show, Animal Magic, Abrams has created educational entertainment that prompts an interactive way for young children to learn the dangers of drugs from an early age.

His talents are far reaching, but the real astonishment is the way in which he commands the attention of so many little minds. The permanently awe struck looks on their faces as he performed one perfectly orchestrated act after another was ultimately what the assembly was all about.

He taught the difference between good drugs like medicine and bad drugs like alcohol, all the while captivating adults and children alike with his dual-audience humor and point-making truths.

Shrieks of fear and delight filled the auditorium when a Chilean rose hair tarantula appeared by way of a bottle of poison made to symbolize alcohol. The fan favorite member of his menagerie turned out to be a cuddly soft chinchilla named Chili who gave kisses to many smiling students.

red ribbon week
red ribbon week
Trained and cared for by Abrams himself, the animals respond to him as obediently as the children. He explains to the young audience how daily exercise and a nutritious diet keeps his animals healthy and active, just like it will do for them too.

Equal parts storyteller, magician, and performer, Abrams puts on a Say No Way To Drugs show that is as impressive as it is entertaining.

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