Music, Smiles & Lasting Memories

Covington-Harper Elementary School

  • Commemorate important events and activities with help from the VariQuest Tools
  • Engage students in the arts with memory-making activities
  • Create an inclusive learning environment for every student

When spring has sprung and your preparations for end-of-year concerts, track & field events, award ceremonies, graduation and more go into overdrive, you’ve got to capture priceless moments! Consider customizing your own photo booth with the help of the VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools

Drawing inspiration from Covington-Harper Elementary School, part of the Prince William County School District in Virginia, a homemade photo booth is a cost-effective way to commemorate student accomplishments throughout the year, because as we know, pictures are worth a thousand words!

Covington-Harper used their VariQuest Perfecta® 3600STP Poster Design System and VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800 to create their own photo booth with ease, as they celebrated the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)’s Music in Our Schools Month.

In an interview with Jennie Nichols, music teacher to 650 K-5 elementary students at Covington-Harper, we learned March is as busy as end-of-year for her, when their school observes Music in our Schools Month. In 2019, they hosted six grade-level concerts in just one week! The student performances featured songs and dances from different cultures and in different languages and incorporated an array of musical instruments.

Our students worked diligently to prepare for their concerts, and I wanted to treat them like the rock stars they are in my eyes,” says Jennie. “I thought it would be nice for the students to have a step and repeat background often found at celebrity events.And that’s when her bright idea to create a photo booth, with the help of the VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tools, acquired by the school when they first opened in 2017, sparked.

“I wanted students, families and school staff to be able to commemorate the concerts with selfie frames in front of the step and repeat background,” so Jennie collaborated with their art teacher and created an 8.5×11 document with their school’s mascot, the cheetah.


Perfecta® STP Series Makes Poster & Banner Printing a Snap

From there Jennie used the Perfecta 3600STP’s fully-integrated scanner to scan the original document and print to banner size, which, after a few pom pom embellishments, served as the backdrop for their photo booth. To create the selfie frames, she used the Perfecta 3600STP again to print posters, then cut and glued to the frames on either side. And just like that – Jennie’s photo booth was open for business! The final touch came when using the VariQuest Cutout Maker— a digital die-cut machine that brings activities to life, to cut letters spelling their school’s name, which hung behind the photo booth proudly displayed on the auditorium stage.

“The photo booth turned out to be a hit with students, families, and staff,” says Jennie, but they weren’t the only ones to get in on the action. Their principal, associate superintendent, directors of student programs, board representative and Jennie captured a memorable photo together too!

VariQuest Tools Bring Academic Value

Beyond the photo booth, Jennie uses the Perfecta® 3600STP and Cutout Maker daily! She creates and laminates posters for reuse during classroom instruction with the Perfecta, and posters with their school song and school behavior incentives on them to display throughout their building. She uses the Cutout Maker to cut heart shapes to represent beats for music, using music notes on the ‘heart’ beats to help understand steady beat and rhythm.

The rest of the staff at Covington-Harper love the VariQuest Tools as well, using the Cutout Maker constantly for engaging bulletin boards and creating letters and shapes for student learning manipulatives.

Thank you, Covington-Harper Elementary School, for making us smile too!