Breaking News Bar
posted: 6/2/2012 9:24 AM

Arlington Heights second-graders become playwrights

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • April Dawn Gladu and Jessi Gangware in a scene.

      April Dawn Gladu and Jessi Gangware in a scene.
    Courtesy of Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

  • Following the performances, Dryden second-grade writers gathered onstage to celebrate seeing their work come alive.

      Following the performances, Dryden second-grade writers gathered onstage to celebrate seeing their work come alive.
    Courtesy of Janet Souter

  • April Dawn Gladu, Patrick Byrnes, Jessi Gangware and Tony Allen depict a time in the life of Dryden Principal Robert Jares, who changed careers from music professor to school principal.

      April Dawn Gladu, Patrick Byrnes, Jessi Gangware and Tony Allen depict a time in the life of Dryden Principal Robert Jares, who changed careers from music professor to school principal.
    Courtesy of Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

 
By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald correspondent

In this day and age of texting and tweeting, several Arlington Heights second-graders experienced something of a throwback: they learned to write -- more specifically, write for the stage.

"I've never written a play before," said Megan Snow, a second-grader at Ivy Hill Elementary School in Arlington Height, "but it was cool to see our ideas acted out."

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Last week, she and her classmates saw the biographies of their teachers they had developed come to life on the stage at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

After working with teaching artists from the Metropolis over the last four weeks, students from Dryden, Greenbrier and Ivy Hill elementary schools attended short skits performed by professional actors, and all drawn from their interviews and story arcs.

One of Megan's classmates, Cherry Gadamandla of Arlington Heights, added that seeing their work turned into plays gave her an idea.

"You usually see plays that come from an adult's idea," Cherry said. "This time it was plays coming from kids' ideas."

Their interviewing and writing skills were at the core of the "Write to the Spotlight" program, designed by the Arlington Heights Arts Commission and co-sponsored by Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and the Metropolis.

"It's important for kids," says Bill Kruser, a member of the Arlington Heights Arts Commission. "If we can get them as second-graders to continue and become interested in creative writing, then we've accomplished something."

Another arts commission member, Janet Souter, says the impact of working with working actors and writers helps to reinforce students' interest.

"They might not think they can write," Souter said, "but when you bring it into their school and they see it acted out onstage, suddenly they can."

Students began by developing interview questions to gather information about their teachers. The Metropolis teaching artists then worked with each class to understand the concepts of character, environment, relationships, obstacles and conflicts.

"It was such a joy to work with them so closely," said Jessi Gangware, one of the Metropolis teachers. "This program really gave students an opportunity to let their creativity out and to use their imaginations. You could just see their confidence growing."

Amy Cornelius serves as arts education coordinator for the Metropolis, and she sees "Write to the Spotlight," as one of their outreach programs for local schoolchildren.

"This program works because it's incorporated right into their curriculum," Cornelius says. "As a result, the arts help these students experience learning in new and exciting ways."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here