We are now a week away from the American Idol finale. In Thousand Oaks, a charter school is helping kids pursue their passion for the stage by incorporating art and music right into the curriculum.
The concept seems to be working. Already, a few of these students are showing incredible potential.
"I can hardly wait to show you," sings Hayley Shukiar.
"I was born to entertain," sings Emma Dawson.
At the tender age of 9 and 10, Emma and Hayley are proving they've got what it takes to be a future American Idol.
Both girls attend Meadows Arts and Technology School, or MATES, in Thousand Oaks. The charter school aims to empower learning by utilizing the children's creativity in art and music.
Frank LaGuardia has been teaching music at MATES for the past six years. "I'm a little kid sometimes in the classroom. I just try to find that one thing that's going to spark an interest in the children," says LaGuardia.
Right now, a group of students are rehearsing for the June performance of the Lion King. MATES is the first elementary school on the west coast to perform the Broadway musical.
"It's really exciting! And it's really fun to be able to sing and dance a lot," says 5th grader Cameron Valladares, who credits MATES for helping her come out of her shell. "It's helped me boost my confidence in the musicals we do."
LaGuardia says MATES hopes that confidence will help these kids pursue their dreams one step and one song at a time. "They don't really have stage fright later on because this is what we've always done since kindergarten."
Back the Lion King rehearsal, as Cameron sings, "The circle of life……."
Fox 11's Stephanie Stanton introduces use to these stars of tomorrow.