Sixteen percent of Milwaukee third grade students are reading at grade level*. Let me write that again. Only sixteen percent of third graders in Milwaukee are reading at their grade level. I do not write with fingers pointing; but rather to say, it takes a village.
And this is why, now more than ever, it is important that arts education and arts curriculum enhancement be more than just a field trip.
The majority of our Beyond the Classroom performances for schools are literacy rich, while providing students with performing arts experiences. For some children, the storyline in a play might really speak to them, and for the first time ever, they may enthusiastically pick up a book! For others, the excitement of the theatre might strike a chord. Or a student could be in awe of the costumes and begin sketching, or see a book come to life on stage and begin working hard in school with dreams of writing his/her own script one day. You just never know.
Is Beyond the Classroom more than a field trip? Definitely.
*Milwaukee Succeeds, 10/15