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Cranford's Brightest Stars Will Shine Friday

Hillside Avenue School will host a talent show that highlights the skills of special-needs students. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

There will be singing, dancing and lots of celebrating as dozens of Cranford students take the stage for a talent show Friday that's being called "An Evening of Shining Stars."

The young, enthusiastic performers who have spent several weeks rehearsing are primarily special needs students in the district. Although they face challenges such as autism and Down Syndrom, on Friday they will have an opportunity to show the community that when it comes to talent, they can shine just as brightly as any other kids in the district.

The show will feature students from third- through 12th-grade grades, according to Sally Curci, who is organizing and directing the show. Curci is the mother of two special-needs students who will be performing in the show.

There are approximately 17 special-needs children who will sing, dance and play instruments. In addition there are about 20 mainstream education students —many of them siblings of the performers — who will be helping them, on- and off-stage.

Curci, who teaches zumba and Irish dance, is hoping to make the talent show an annual event.

"We're doing this to give our kids a chance to shine and show off their talents," Curci said.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. at in Cranford. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door. All of the proceeds will benefit the ARC of Union County. For advance tickets/more info, call 908-709-3343 or delmonaco@cranfordschools.org.

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