New Castle News

Local News

October 26, 2013

Making Narnia: Vo-tech students donate time, talents to help church create C.S. Lewis’ fantasy world

NEW CASTLE — It’s too bad the Lawrence County Career and Technical School wasn’t around when Aslan created Narnia.

He might have gotten some help.

However, when Savannah United Methodist Church looked to re-create the world of C.S. Lewis’ seven-part fantasy series, the lion’s share of the scenery was created and supplemented by local vo-tech students.

From October through April, the Shenango Township church offers a once-a-month Kids Ministry Night. Pastor Laura Puleo describes it as mini-Vacation Bible School, offering a story embellished by elaborate decorations and costumed adults. Starting last night and continuing through November and December, the theme will be the three entrants in the Lewis series recently made into films: “The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe;” “Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia;” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

Helping to run the children’s ministry at Savannah is Julie Brown, who also happens to teach biology at the Career and Technical Center.  When inheriting the task of creating Narnia – originally credited to Aslan the lion in Lewis’ “The Magician’s Nephew” – Brown approached principal Regina Hiler about borrowing a sleigh that students in the carpentry shop had made.

“Then I asked if we could borrow some of the Christmas trees, because I knew we had a bunch,” Brown said. “That’s when I started to wonder if carpentry could do this, and others could do that, and the pieces sort of fell together.”

Those pieces took the shape of wooden snowflakes cut out by carpentry students; hand-drawn, wall-sized Narnia characters, a pond and face painting from commercial art students; and Turkish Delight (a treat mentioned in the series) and animal-shaped sugar cookies for the children to decorate by the culinary arts department.

EAGER TO HELP

In addition, students volunteered to help set up and staff Savannah’s multi-purpose room each month. Last night, it was the winter wonderland of Narnia. Next month, it will take on the trappings of a castle for “Prince Caspian,” and in December, it will set sail as a ship for “Dawn Treader.” Those decorations, too, will be created by vo-tech students.

Brown said enthusiastic reactions were the norm wherever she proposed the project at school.

“I even found kids in my biology class who didn’t have anything to do with making anything, but they just wanted to go to the church to help set up and work with the kids,” she said.

Two of those were Justice Snyder and Lacey Lopes.

“Auto body really doesn’t relate to Narnia,” Snyder said of her area of study.  “But I like helping out in the community and doing stuff for churches with little kids. I’ve done that my whole life in my church.”

“I like doing crafts and stuff and I have time, so I wanted to do it,” Lopes added. “I’ve never read the books but I’ve seen the movies multiple times. I think they turned out pretty cool, but my mom always tells me that the books are better.”

Elizabeth Heitzer from commercial art signed up to do face painting at the event, planning on creating snowflakes and animal faces as a visual link to Narnia.

Kristin Horkey and Rachael Thiele were part of the commercial art crew that created the pond out of paper, plastic and spray-painted foam “rocks.” Such work was nothing new to them.

“This is pretty much what we do any way,” Horkey said. “We’re used to it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • PipeDreams.jpg Concert to feature sounds of ’60s

    This week’s Friday Night Live at Riverwalk Amphitheater will feature a 1960s theme. Entertainment will be provided by Pipe Dreams. The group performs a tribute to the British Invasion and American rock ’n roll with music from The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Monkees and hits from Motown and Philly.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Environmental groups oppose forced pooling

    An effort by local landowners to have forced pooling declared unconstitutional is getting some outside support. Two environmental groups — Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Mountain Watershed Association — have filed a friend of the court brief with Commonwealth Court. They are asking that the court review forced pooling, which is part of a 1961 Oil and Gas Conservation Law, before scheduled hearings take place.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CashMob.jpg Cash Mob returns Saturday to downtown

    The New Visions Destination Downtown Action Team will host a cash mob Saturday in downtown New Castle.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum_gazebo.jpg Wampum Homecoming draws near

    The 22nd annual Wampum Homecoming Weekend is scheduled for this weekend. It is sponsored by the Wampum Area Business Association.

     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg City imposing new regulations for vendors

    The city of New Castle is tightening regulations and imposing new ones for mobile food and transient vendors.

     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg New recreation fees adopted

    New Castle City Council has adopted a new fee schedule for Cascade and Darlington parks. The new schedule runs from 2014 through 2016.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • HolidayInn.jpg Union Township getting another hotel

    Union Township is getting a Holiday Inn Express. John McClure, owner of McClure Realty, said he had closed a transaction Thursday on 3.8 acres on West State Street for the venture, a couple hundred yards west of the Hampton Inn.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • audit.jpg Shenango pension fund audit due ‘this summer’

    The audit report of the Shenango Township pension funds are expected to be released this summer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • HIShands.jpg Local youths team up with His Hands Ministries to do home repair for those who can’t afford it

    Area youth from various Lawrence County churches started lending a helping hand Wednesday to residents in need. The annual Lawrence County Youth Ministries service event brings together students and adults for three days of volunteering. It is part of His Hands Ministries, an initiative involving local churches and volunteers who split into work groups to perform  home improvement tasks for elderly and low-income homeowners in the community.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blight.jpg Funds would target Lower East Side demolition

    The Lawrence County planning department and New Castle officials are partnering to wipe out neighborhood blight. They plan to start with the city’s Lower East Side.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo