Three Thespian Troupes Earn National Outstanding Impact Award For Theatre In Our Schools Month
Theatre in Our Schools (TIOS) Month is a campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students. While activities may take place any time, March is designated the official month for TIOS.
The TIOS campaign is jointly sponsored nationally by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, the Educational Theatre Association, and the International Thespian Society. Thousands of students and theatre educators from hundreds of schools across the nation spread the word online, in their communities, school boards, and to elected officials, demonstrating how their school theatre experience provides 21st century skills.
Participation in TIOS is open to all, with Thespian troupes taking a leading role. Thespians are students who have been inducted into the International Thespian Society, which has been honoring student achievement in theatre since 1929.
Thespian troupes at three schools have earned an award for the awareness they raised during March. All the winning schools employed announcements and displays in their schools to raise awareness. What distinguishes outstanding impact is demonstrated effort with school board members, elected officials, and communities.
The 2018 Theatre in Our Schools Outstanding Impact Award winners are:
- First place: Valley View High School, Troupe 4735, Moreno Valley, California
- Second place (tie): Leavenworth High School, Troupe 287, Leavenworth, Kansas
- Second place (tie): Oswego East High School, Troupe 6874, Oswego, Illinois
Valley View High School Troupe 4735, under the direction of Jeanine Lopez, collaborated with four other troupes including Troupe 2409 at Charter Oak High School in Covina, Troupe 5524 at Santa Margarita Catholic School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Troupe 5004 at Centennial High School in Corona, and Troupe 7775 at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, increasing the reach and impact of awareness throughout their school district. They met with their county superintendent and made a presentation to the 2018 Moreno Valley Unity Conference, which is a chamber of commerce event, about why the arts are important.
Leavenworth High School Troupe 287, under the direction of Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat, was on the planning committee for the first statewide Theatre Education Advocacy Day in Kansas which saw 200 students representing 13 schools visit the state capital in Topeka where the Governor issued a proclamation. The state Thespian chair addressed a press conference along with a state representative, the head of the state department of education and the executive director of the Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education.
In addition, Leavenworth High School won a R.I.S.E. America grant, resulting in city-wide media coverage on television and in print not just about the grant, but why the grant and theatre are essential to the school and community.
Oswego East High School Troupe 6874, under the direction of Nicole Schremp, collaborated with the Tri-M music Honor Society and co-promoted with Music in Our Schools. They hosted an event for junior high students, put a display in the public library, and six Thespians made a presentation to their district school board about TIOS. In addition, they visited the Paramount Theatre in Aurora where they met with the creative director and education director to learn about the theatre industry from professionals.
Oswego East High School also earned an honorable mention for TIOS Outstanding Impact in 2017, the first year the award was offered, thanks in part to making a presentation at a school board meeting that was livestreamed throughout the district and covered by local news media