Broadway Actors to Teach PS 221 Students in Brooklyn, 4/13

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25 Broadway performers cross the Brooklyn Bridge and travel deep into Crown Heights on Saturday, April 13 to teach 3rd, 4th, 5th graders and 6th graders at PS 221 how to sing, dance & act. It's an inspiring, new partnership between Boardman Productions and Seeds in the Middle, a 501c3 charity empowering students and schools in the obesity epidemic to get all the resources they need to get healthy.

Starting at noon, every child will participate in one-hour long workshops in dance, theater, and song from noon to 3 pm and present a short performance at 3 pm. It all takes place at PS 221, 791 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, April 13, workshops 12-3 pm and performance at 3 pm.

The Story: Julie Boardman, founder of Boardman Productions (a NYC-based promotional marketing event staffing agency who primarily hires Broadway talent), first learned of PS 221's need for outside help from a fellow Young American, Shannon Miskowski - who saw a posting on FACEBOOK.

Ms. Boardman previously taught workshops with The Young Americans to students on multiple National Music Outreach Tours. She quickly realized that bringing those skills to PS 221 was a no-brainer...this time, she just added the help of her fellow Broadway performers. The team couldn't be more excited about inspiring the students at PS 221, the first Hip2B Healthy School, and helping to enrich their lives with the arts.

All NYC students from grades 2-8 face high-stakes standardized tests, starting Tuesday, April 16. They are under extreme pressure. What joy to enhance learning with the magic of the arts.

Teachers include: Mara Davi ("Smash," A Chorus Line, White Christmas, Drowsy Chaperone, 42nd Street), Taylor Frey (South Pacific, How to Succeed..., Hairspray, Finian's Rainbow), Marcus Paul James (RENT, In the Heights), Brittney Griffin (Dreamgirls), Leslie Diamond Lee (RENT), Julie Boardman (42nd Street), Jenny Neale (Butterflies are Free), Danielle Faitelson (Honky), Whit Baldwin (Merrily We Roll Along...), Erin West (42nd Street), Aaron Gaines, Aaron Jodoin, Lauren Fijol (Shout!), Amy Halldin (Grease), Jerese Twitty (Brooklyn Nets Dancer), Ryan Nicolls, Laurie Hymes, Donald Dashiell, Chris Rustin, Marnie Buckner, Jennifer Bigler & Dan Brown. With help from: Jarran Muse (Motown, Dreamgirls, White Christmas, Hairspray, 42nd Street), Steven Cardona (Disney Teaching Artist) and Michael Schwartz (Director).

Seeds in the Middle, named by fourth graders in central Brooklyn, inspires parents, educators, students and their community to access all opportunities beginnning with improving their health, enhancing arts education and greening their environment. We are joyful, respectful, educational and engaging. We nurture the whole child.

Our innovative strategy to fight obesity initiates at schools. We weave proven programs into a comprehensive package to turn around ills driving down opportunity and advancement. We empower and educate all to get healthy and scale disparities. Our pilot elementary school is PS 221 in Crown Heights, a neighborhood with one of New York city's highest obesity, diabetes, and heart disease rates.

Our program encompasses every class at PS 221, plus the surrounding community. We are the proud founders of the Crown Heights Farmers Market and Soccer for Harmony tournaments. We are proud to boast that our focus 4th grade class in 2012 surpassed citywide average scores on standardized tests! Less than half the students in District 17 are at grade level. But in Ms. Fearon's class, 87% scored at or above grade level (27% scored "4"s) in math, 69% in literacy and 96.2% in science.

At Seeds in the Middle, we teach how to grow, how to market, how to access and prepare nutritious food, how to exercise, how to engage in the arts, all the elements needed to promote life-changing lifelong health. Our partners come from all walks of life: chefs, athletes, educators, artists, builders and more. We cross cultures. We transform gray into green, destitution into inspiration.

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