The Northfield Bank Foundation Funds Two Playwriting Residencies in Rahway School District
Premiere Stages, the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, recently completed two playwriting residencies in the Rahway School District, graciously funded by The Northfield Bank Foundation. Over the course of seven weeks, students in Ms. Kristyn Suckow's 7th Grade English & Language Arts class at Rahway Academy and Ms. Jennifer Cirillo's 6th Grade Language Arts & Social Studies class at Roosevelt Elementary School learned the basics of playwriting and collaborated to write original short plays for the stage. Both residencies culminated in schoolwide assemblies of the student-written work performed by professional actors.
Premiere Stages' residencies are specifically designed to support classroom learning objectives and are designed to support New Jersey Student Learning standards, reinforcing literacy skills, encouraging creativity and collaboration, and bolstering student self-esteem. Professional teaching artists work closely with classroom teachers to specifically tailor each residency to the needs of the students. Ms. Suckow's 7th graders at Rahway Academy developed scenes about their own lives inspired by The New York Times bestseller, We Beat the Street by Sampson Davis, George W. Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, and Sharon Draper, while Ms. Cirillo's 6th grade students at Roosevelt Elementary drew inspiration from the Newbery Award-winning Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.