“Edutainment”: An Unintentional Success Story for Jemima’s Playhouse
Halloween is usually associated with being a spooky occasion. It is also a time that many schools take the opportunity to have their students dress up in their favorite costumes. We are always amazed at the beautiful costumes that the children wear so elegantly. Students tend to become the Disney Princesses, or Marvel Superheroes. On Halloween in 2013, a student surprised the entire school in Atlanta, Georgia by dressing up as our very own Spanish-speaking donkey: Señor Burro!
It was a tremendous shock because Jemima’s Playhouse did not sell Señor Burro costumes at the time. When it was time for our friend to stand up and introduce her character, she jumped up and the class shouted, “Señor Burro! So cool.” What happened next is what made our entire year. The entire class sang Señor Burro’s song, “Mis Colores” together.
It was in this moment we discovered the bridge between education and entertainment, commonly referred to as “Edutainment”. Some persons might see the two as constructs of education and entertainment at opposite ends of the spectrum. Education is defined as the process of facilitating learning and growth. An adequate education trains a student to become a productive employee and good citizen. Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention of the viewer and gives delight.
The students sang the “Mis Colores” song with an energy commonly reserved for a Disney song from the newest blockbuster. It didn’t matter that the song is an educational song and teaches the students their colors in Spanish. The students performed the song enthusiastically with our friend, who was dressed up as Señor Burro, performing Señor Burro’s signature dance.
This was the day that we realized that entertainment and education are not exclusively separate entities for all of the stakeholders involved with Jemima’s Playhouse. Each encounter with all of our students, teachers, and parents has become an “Edutainment” success!