Young Audiences Program in Woodland Park Schools

Young Audiences Program in Woodland Park Schools

BY CHRISTA LIMONE

WOODLAND PARK – Charles Olbon and Beatrice Gilmore Elementary Schools are again participating this year in the Young Audience Arts for Learning of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

The program brings arts experiences by professional teaching artists directly to students. By doing so, it eliminates barriers to participation and make the arts accessible to students of every background, geographic area, and ability.

Both schools have a creativity consultant working with the teachers, an “artist in residence.” This year the focus is on storytelling through West African dance and drumming. The teachers have received professional development from the artist, Mrs. Candace. 

Mrs. Candace and Mr. Koakou have been visiting select classes at both schools. Students are learning about different kinds of Western African drums and have learned dance sequences as well.

Throughout the program, students will learn about a new culture through the art of storytelling, dance and music. A core group of students will participate in a performance showcase at the end of the school year at both schools.

Last year, select Charles Olbon classes worked on learning mandala mindfulness, an art form where the students work within a grid to create something all their own. Charles Olbon classes also did an element on theater as well created a student made garden.

Last year at Beatrice Gilmore, third graders learned about acting skills. They created tableaus, where they use their bodies to make a still picture, without talking, to capture and communicate the meaning of a concept. The work the third graders did also tied in math, where students acted out word problem, language arts and social studies.

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