Fritsch kids ride magic carpets around world

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Aboard magic carpets, Fritsch Elementary School students traveled around the world Tuesday morning -- through stories.

They read poetry in Mexico and heard the legend of "Anansi the Spider" in Africa. They met "Tikki Tikki Tembo" in China and learned never to tell a lie from "Pinocchio" in Italy.

"I thought it was a very good idea," said Kelsey Long, 7. "I've never learned about these states before, so it's been very good."

The Carpet One Magic Carpet Time Tour, Around the World in a Day visited the school as part of the nationwide program to promote reading.

Roger Pierce, owner of Roger's Carpet One in Carson City and Minden, sponsored the traveling theater to come to Carson City. Last year he sponsored the program at C.C. Meneley Elementary School in Minden.

"Anything you can do to encourage reading and make education fun is great," Pierce said. "Theater is a great way to do that."

The production began as Al, the children's pal, received a special book from Betty Book. Inside the book was a magic lamp.

The genie inside the lamp granted Al's wish to travel the world, taking along the students who were each sitting on a square of magical carpet donated by Carpet One.

In each country, students learned about different genres of literature including poetry, folk tales and fairy tales.

They also learned about legends through the story of Anansi the Spider who knew everything but refused to share her wisdom.

In attempt to keep it to herself, she put it in a pot and tried to hide it in the top of a tree, but the pot was too heavy.

In anger and frustration, she threw the pot down, spilling her wisdom to the world.

It was 8-year-old Nathaniel Brown's favorite part of the performance.

"The spider was carrying the pot and she fell down," he related. "It was funny."

The students were also invited to take part in the production.

Mark Lacey, 8, played a water well in the Chinese folk tale.

"I was right in the middle of a story," Mark said. "I guess I just liked being up there in front of everybody."

At the end of the performance, each child was given a square of carpet and a book.

The group of actors -- Kristi Heaps, Jonathan Foss and Chrystal Sturtevant -- traveled from Boston as one of three touring theater companies with the organization. They plan to perform at 600 schools throughout the West this year.


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