The artwork of Aspire Summit Charter Academy students fills a book with a companion CD available for purchase at the school. Art and music teacher Ben Phelps self-published the tale of Gus the Magical Moose and wrote the Gus song sung by students.
Kids nominated for good deeds spotted by teachers illustrated each stage of Gus’ journey at so-called Secret Art Nights at the school. The south Modesto school on Hatch Road has about 400 kindergarteners through fifth-graders.
“Gus has acquired quite a momentum,” Phelps said. Students draw pictures of Gus playing with animals that they make up during classes in the “art cave,” a mural-covered, Christmas-light-lit room.
The book and CD each cost $10, Phelps said. Phelps and his band, Mr. Ben and the Eye-Birds, will be playing Gus songs and other kid-friendly tunes at the Modesto branch of the Stanislaus County Library on Sept. 20. The band will play at the top of each hour from 9 a.m. to noon.