LONG ISLAND WEEKLY DESK
Cultural Groups Nurture The Arts in Schools
By BARBARA DELATINER (NYT)
Published: March 12, 2006
excerpted from this article ....
''Not every child shines in the classroom,'' Ms. Gleason said, ''and when they find another focus that makes them feel good about themselves, they do better academically.''
Wendy Kasdan, a fifth-grade teacher at the Norwood School in the Comsewogue district, collaborated with Linda Ciofalo, a singer from Rockville Centre and a Tilles teaching artist, to achieve similar goals. In their four sessions they used a performance by the Hudson Vagabond Players at Tilles of ''Monkey See, Monkey Do,'' an opera based on a Mexican folk tale.
Besides the obvious art and music components -- the children made their puppets and received vocal and dance training from Ms. Ciofalo -- they also sharpened their creative skills by writing plays and in the process brushed up on their grammar.
As a bonus, when the students begin a language-study segment in Italian later this term, they will have a head start with the operatic phrases Ms. Ciofalo taught them.