The first week of December will be a banner week for collaborations between the Appalachian Center for Civic Life, Washington County Public Schools and the Emory & Henry College Theatre Department as two major projects come to an end.
First, on Thursday, December 3 at the new Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts there will be a series of short plays presented by the children of Washington County Elementary Schools as part of an ongoing partnership between the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program and student volunteers arranged through the Theatre Department at Emory & Henry College. Emory & Henry College students have been meeting with students at all seven elementary schools weekly since mid-October. In this time together they have written original scripts, which will premiere on the main stage on campus. Students will arrive after school on Thursday for a quick dress rehearsal, pizza dinner, and 7:00 performance in front of their families and loved ones.
Second, on Friday December 4, eleven students who are taking a course in Applied Theatre will share the work they have been doing alongside eight sixth graders at Glade Spring Middle School at 7:00 in the Forum Room. They too have been visiting the school weekly since mid-October and presenting a series of theatrical lesson plans designed to directly influence the transition to Middle School. These lesson plans have focused on issues such as positivity, uniqueness, self-esteem, empathy, coping skills and academic skills.
It's been really enlightening getting to work with these students and beginning to understand what they go through on a daily basis as 6th graders.Maxine PooleBachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Major
Both of these partnerships have been made possible through the efforts of public school officials, specifically Principal Kelly Holmes at the Middle School and Lisa MacNeil with the GATE program, the support of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life, and under the leadership for Dr. Kelly Bremner who teaches the Applied Theatre course, and mentors the student volunteers in the GATE program.
Emory & Henry College students involved in the GATE program include: Kelly Bok, Kaeleigh Damico, Ellie Hogg, Bryce Haines, Rachel Haines, McKinley Hughes, Katelyn Miracle, and William Scott. Students involved at the Middle School include: Kelly Bok, Kaeleigh Damico, Mary Herndon, Grayson Hicks, McKinley Hughes, Martha Jessee, Alissa Jones, Samuel Lamon, Maxine Poole, William Scott and Katrina Wagner.
I have gotten so much out of this opportunity. At first, I was just taking this class to cross a credit off my list, but working with the Glade Middle Schoolers has impacted me more than I had expected. Going to work with these kids is a high point in my week because I know we are making a difference in their day, no matter how big or small.Grayson HicksReligion and Philosophy Double Major