"I'mma need y'all to stay with the group," says Music Director at Abramson Science and Technology Charter School, Erica Johnson, as she looks after some eager gradeschoolers who want to buy sno-balls."I can't let you guys walk by yourself, this is a big place; we need to stay together."
This type of interaction can be seen every year on the Thursday of the second weekend of Jazz Fest. Each year, Shell Oil sponsors private, public, charter and parochial schools to give students who exemplify good grades and behavior a free field trip to Jazz Fest, Pamela Blanchard, a teacher at Abramson, says.
This is the second year Abramson has participated in the program, Blanchard says. "There's an application and I had to write a letter, and they picked us," she says. "After that, there was a mandatory information meeting and then we got the tickets."
This year, Abramson was awarded 100 complimentary tickets- 50 for the middle school, 50 for the high school. Each teacher is responsible for picking students who excel behaviorially and academically in their classes, says Abramson teacher, Toni Alexander. "It's a really nice thing for the kids, we want them to be able to experience things like this that happen in our city," Alexander says. "It's a nice reward."