Get in THE ZONE!

Remembering. Rebuilding. Rewarding!Mitchell Middle School logo
Just Add Kids’ drive to supply Mitchell Middle School’s AfterZone
by Just Add Kids Founder, Paula Herrmann


I remember years ago as I was folding laundry in my first family home here in Racine. A typical Saturday.

I was flipping thru the channels and stopped when I happened upon a young group of kids performing music scenes from “Annie”. I was so impressed. The show was produced well, the kids did an amazing job, and I really liked the balloon arch that hovered overhead the kids on stage. First thought was that it was a dance studio from Chicago. I’m not sure why. The credits rolled at the end and I was intrigued to find out this was THE 1st grade annual performance at Jefferson Lighthouse Magnet School in Racine. As a soon to be dance mom, that show made a long-standing mark in my memory. Read more…

Fast-forward, 15 years maybe? My number 3 daughter decides she wants to move on from Stephen Bull Fine Arts Magnet School to Mitchell Fine Arts Middle School. She loves singing, dancing, acting. She enrolls in her school’s AfterZone’s Fine Arts Club, lead by non-other than that director of Jefferson’s former, famous 1st grade musical, one Mr. John Schuessler.

Well, as you all probably know, last month Mitchell Elementary School’s gym was destroyed in a fire which led to a lot of residual damage to both the elementary and middle school wings. The community stepped in and continues to step up with drives and fundraisers for Mitchell. Now it’s Just Add Kids’ turn!

At our upcoming Just Add Kids EXPO! next Saturday, April 5th being held at Case High School, we will be collecting for Mitchell Middle School’s AfterZone program which lost everything as a result of the fire. With the Fine Arts Club’s “Mitchell Goes to Broadway” show coming up on May 9th, they could really use gift cards to Michael’s, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and Menards to work on costumes, props and scenery. There is also a specific request for American Flags (hand-held). The kids got back into AfterZone this week after over 3 weeks of not rehearsing, and I am happy to announce, we will get a taste of that show right on our Main Stage at the EXPO! scheduled to perform at 11:30am. UPDATE: It’s SHOWBIZ FOLKS, AND IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE GROUP IS NOT READY AS OF 4/1…THIS AIN’T NO JOKE ! Stay tuned. We may be regrouping!

Fashion Doers Racine Unified Mitchell Middle School pic 3 Fashion Doers Racine Unified Mitchell Middle School pic 5 Kids Kafe Racine Unified Mitchell Middle School pic

Additional losses were incurred by Mitchell Middle School’s Fashion Doers (a fashion design/creation) AfterZone program. Items needed to supply this program again are gift cards to Michael’s, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby and Target. There is also a specific request for Prismacolor pencils, sewing supplies such as scissors and thread, as well as, sewing machines.

Finally, and I am getting some of this information piece-meal, the AfterZone’s Kids Kafe’ Class could use grocery store gift cards. There is also a request for furniture for repurposing. I’ll get the lowdown on that class! Sounds fun, yet they need project items, obviously. UPDATE 4/1: THE INSTRUCTOR FOR THIS PROGRAM IS NOW HAVING THE KIDS WORK ON SET DESIGN FOR FINE ARTS CLUB’S “Mitchell Goes to Broadway” show 

So, to recap, here is a list in a list format of donation items needed for Mitchell Middle Schools AfterZone program (click to pop open a PDF for printing)

AfterZone Logo Racine Unified School District (2)Mitchell Middle School AfterZone Donation Drive 04.01

Thank you so much for your anticipated concern and generosity. Donation boxes at the EXPO! to collect these items are graciously provided by Racine’s own Merchants Moving & Storage. If you wish to enclose your gift card with a note to the kids that would be so wonderfully heartfelt and appreciated, I am sure.  Name is optional, yet, I’m thinking I’d like to compile a THANK YOU follow-up on this blog’s wall, so it’s your call!

I may be updating this list and will post update alerts on Facebook, Twitter, and probably in our JAK Happenings weekly e-newsletter next week.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions via email at


If this is a good fit for you and if the desire to participate stirs you, consider supporting Mitchell Middle School AfterZone Fine Arts Club’s “Mitchell Goes to Broadway”  by advertising in their program.
This musical production will take place at Mitchell Middles School on the evening of Friday, May 9th.  A confirmation of the time is forthcoming.


Mitchell Middle School Fine Arts Club musical playbill ad request 04.2014










1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    […] Carol, who was the gym teacher at the school at that time. Coincidentally, we’re doing another drive for Mitchell. This time collecting for the middle school’s AfterZone program that lost everything in the […]

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