Fox Cities P.A.C. & Appleton Area School District to Offer Arts Workshops

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will again team up with the Appleton Area School District to offer Wisconsin educators the opportunity to take part in professional development workshops centered around the arts. In 2012, the Center and AASD were selected to participate in The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program and are one of approximately 100 partnership teams across the country promoting arts integration through the professional learning process. This is the second year of the partnership and the Classroom Connections program. Three educator workshops will be included in this year's activities.

"We are delighted to continue the Classroom Connections program and offer area educators a valuable resource for their curriculum," said Maria Van Laanen, Fox Cities P.A.C. executive vice president. "The workshops serve as a springboard for nurturing arts integration that reinvigorates the classroom learning experience."

All three workshops being offered this year were developed in association with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Professional teaching artists will show educators how to use the arts as a tool to teach core curriculum. All Wisconsin educators are invited to participate on a first-come, first-served basis. Educators do not need to have an arts background to participate. Workshop material is delivered in a hands-on, interactive manner. Participants will leave each workshop with a resource packet and practical teaching techniques to leverage the learning of their students through the connection of an art form and another subject area such as science, language arts and social studies.

Following one of last year's workshops, art teacher Nicole Callahan from Wilson Middle School in Appleton was feeling energetic about applying new skills in her classes for 7th- and 8th-graders. "After this workshop ... I felt that I left not only with great ideas but a renewed sense of excitement to try new things and create the best and most engaging learning environment possible for my students," Callahan said.

Educators may learn more about Classroom Connections and register for workshops online For more information about The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, visit


All workshops will be at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Registration includes a resource packet and boxed dinner.

Who's the Hero?: Confronting Bullying Through the Arts
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013; 4-7 p.m.
Workshop Leader: Karen Erickson
Suggested for educators of grades 3-6
Fee: $30 ($25 for AASD staff)
With a focus on developing quality character traits, this workshop delves into the core issue of bullying and shows how the arts can serve as a powerful addition to any character education program. Serving as a conversation starter, drama gives students an opportunity to explore the roles of hero, bully, bystander, instigator and target. The drama activities also utilize concentration, image work, collaboration and communication of lines spoken by characters. Back by popular demand, workshop leader Karen Erickson will lead educators through an exciting, hands-on approach to the topic of bullying.

Poetry Off the Page
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013; 4-7 p.m.
Workshop Leader: Glenis Redmond
Suggested for educators of grades 4-12
Fee: $30 ($25 for AASD staff)
Based on the belief that poetry, in addition to being written and read, should be performed. This workshop will help educators introduce students to the topic of poetry. Participants will learn ways to help students utilize brainstorming techniques, imagery and layering to write powerful and effective poems. Clear and easy poetic structures and formats empower students to expand their imaginations and cross creative boundaries. Award-winning poet Glenis Redmond will share techniques on how to help students express themselves through their words and bring their poetry to life on and off the page.

Building Reading Comprehension through Sound and Rhythm
Thursday, April 10, 2014; 4-7 p.m.
Workshop Leader: Imani Gonzalez
Suggested for educators in grades 1-5
Fee: $30 ($25 for AASD staff)
Enhance student learning by using sound and rhythm to explore ways to help students develop reading comprehension strategies and make connections between music and language. Workshop leader Imani Gonzalez guides educators through a process of helping students create a Soundscape; a way to retell the story that connects students to the story's tone, mood, setting and character's culture. This learning process helps students attend to sensory images, use questioning strategies, respond to inference and determine importance of information. Educators will learn how to help students gain listening skills through collaboration, build interpretation skills through communication and improve reading fluency through creativity. By teaching through music, your students will attain a new level of comprehension when they experience seeing, hearing and feeling through their reading.

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