Laura Tovar's Summer Arts Academy at Hollingworth Elementary School ended two weeks ago, but there was still one more hurdle in her midst: directing 40 students in a Broadway musical production.

In its fifth year, the Rowland Unified School District hosted the Summer Theater program for children entering grades five through eight from June 12 to July 9 at the West Covina school.

For four weeks, students worked hard, rehearsing, dancing, singing and memorizing lines to Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," a 90-minute show they performed on July 7 and 8 in front of friends and family.

"All of us need that kind of community event," Tovar, the program's founder, said. "This is something just the kids get to do."

Music teacher Laura Tovar plays 21 questions with her students before the musical play, "Beauty and the Beast, Jr." (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Correspondent)

And spending the extra time with them is all worth it.

"I get two more years with my kids," Tovar said. "That's the point."

She created the program to include some of the students who no longer fit the age requirement for the Summer Arts Academy, which was from June 14 to July 1 for children entering grades two through six.