Zionsville Middle School Presents Its Inaugural Virtual Winter Fling 2020

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November 2020

Students at ZMS will be able to showcase their visual and performing arts this December by submitting and posting their work ONLINE to be displayed on ZMS’s Inaugural Virtual Winter Fling event!

I spoke with ZMS seventh-grade language arts teacher Blake Mellencamp about the genesis of the Winter Fling and how the community can support the students’ work.

ZMS Virtual Winter Fling

“Every year we traditionally hold a ‘Spring Fling’ event,” Mellencamp shared. “It’s a big art show where all of our music groups play; we have a ‘film festival,’ and it’s a chance for all the kids to show off their creativity. Last spring, the schools went all remote, and we couldn’t have our standard Spring Fling event, so it was [ZMS athletic director] Kelly Antcliff’s wonderful idea to have a virtual Spring Fling. It was also her idea to have a Winter Fling this year.”

Mellencamp explained that he and Antcliff wanted to showcase all of the hard work and creative things the students have been doing, both in and out of the classroom, and they didn’t want to wait until the end of this school year to do that.

“The virtual showcase is wonderful because it allows pages and pages of music recordings, art and wonderful creativity to be showcased and viewed by the students and staff as well as relatives and friends who may live out of state,” Mellencamp said. “So, we’ve decided that even when we can resume in-person events, we’re going to keep doing these [flings] virtually because it’s a great place—online—where we can showcase all of this great work to the public.”

Virtual Technology Becomes Another Tool in the Toolbox

As most industries have adapted and integrated virtual meetings and other online technologies as part of their pandemic protocols, the education sector has seen this as an opportunity to reach students where they are and will utilize these technologies even post-pandemic.

“Of course, it has been challenging,” Mellencamp stated. “But I think with all challenges, you learn a lot and improve what you’re doing. For instance, I’ve been producing video lessons for the remote-learners, and going forward, when there is an instance when a student is too sick to come to school but not too sick to catch up on their work, they will be able to watch the lesson—virtually—and get these resources in very innovative ways. We’ve had these digital tools, but now, we’ve been forced to use them in ways that will be relevant not just during the pandemic, but I think they will help educators moving forward.”

ZMS Virtual Winter Fling

Submissions Due by Dec. 11

ZMS students will need to submit their work by Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The unveiling of the inaugural Virtual Winter Fling 2020 will be on Wednesday, Dec. 16, just two days before the schools break for winter break. It will be a perfect time for family and friends to view the galleries posted via Flipgrid on the school’s website and social media channels.

“The kids are working so hard and making such amazing things, and it would be a tragedy if their projects were only seen by me or the teacher at the front of the room,” Mellencamp expressed. “We have to broadcast this and shout it from the rooftops. Everybody should see this awesome stuff, and the kids should be affirmed and not just by the teachers but by their community. I think this [event] is part of building that sense of community that, right now, can seem distant but is definitely still there.”

So, ZMS students, be sure to submit your work to the inaugural Virtual Winter Fling! Just upload your submission to OneDrive and send to Mrs. Antcliff at [email protected] or Mr. Mellencamp at [email protected]s.