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Aflac Treats Local Students to Morning Musical

Aflac Treats Local Students to Morning Musical

Published 04-04-24

Submitted by Aflac Incorporated

Students from MLK Elementary School shown going to see the musical.

Originally published on Aflac Newsroom

Giraffes can’t dance … or can they?

Eager pre-K through 2nd grade students from MLK Elementary School in Columbus skipped, hopped and meandered in lines from their big yellow school buses into the RiverCenter for Performing Arts recently, excited to find out just that. The morning field trip to see a stage musical adaptation of the popular children’s book, ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ by Giles Andreae, was for most of the 290 students not only their first visit to a grand performing arts landmark, but also their very first time seeing a live stage production.

Aflac and the power of relationships made it happen.

When Aflac’s Lanita Lucas, whose job includes engagement with community schools in Columbus, Georgia, learned of the Title I school’s desire to expose more of their students to the arts, she set out to help make it possible.

“I knew that Aflac was a season sponsor of the RiverCenter, so I reached out to our Corporate Social Responsibility team to see if we could help the school receive a discount on tickets so they could afford to send such a big group of students,” said Lucas. The end result to her inquiry, she admitted, was far greater than she anticipated.

“The team offered to pay for tickets for all of the 290 students and teachers. There was absolutely no cost to the school or parents,” she said. “The power of relationships made this happen — community relationships and relationships between departments at Aflac. I am thankful to work for a company where a single question sparked a series of events that led to these kids being able to experience something new and exciting.”

RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

The awe on students’ faces as they entered the grand RiverCenter lobby in the entertainment section of Columbus wasn’t anything that can be easily described, Lucas added. “One student looked around and said, ‘Wow! Is this New York?’ The whole experience made such a difference to so many of them.”

MLK Jr. Elementary Instructional Dean, Cassandra Hippolyte, agreed.

“The Giraffes Can't Dance show was truly a memorable experience for both the kids and teachers alike,” Hippolyte said. “Witnessing the joy and wonder on the children's faces as they immersed themselves in the musical was incredibly rewarding. It's moments like these that reaffirm the importance of providing enriching educational opportunities that spark creativity and imagination.”

The 60-minute production following Gerald the Giraffe and friends on a journey of self-discovery captivated the MLK students and nearly 1,000 other children and adults from throughout the community with positive messages. The moral: Courage and self-confidence can help you overcome obstacles and shine brightly in your own unique way.

Hippolyte thanked Aflac for the opportunity to expose their students to the experience. “I am proud to be associated with a company that prioritizes bringing cultural experiences to students and helping foster a love of learning,” she said. “It's evident that initiatives like these have a meaningful impact on their educational journey.”

So, can giraffes dance? Actually, they can. As Gerald the Giraffe learned, with a little help from friends, anything is possible.

Aflac includes Aflac and/or Aflac New York and/or Continental American Insurance Company and /or Continental American Life Insurance Company.

WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999


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Aflac Incorporated

Aflac Incorporated

Aflac is a Fortune 500 company, providing financial protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. When a policyholder or insured gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fairly, promptly and directly to the insured. For more than six decades, Aflac voluntary insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress.

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