Workshops for local teachers, led by some of the nation’s most renowned teaching artists, show how the arts can open doors to core academic subjects. And the three-hour programs at the Renaissance Theatre, including dinner, are free. The continuing professional development series is designed to help local teachers incorporate the arts into classroom strategies through Partners in Education, a partnership among Mansfield City Schools, the Mansfield Art Center and the Renaissance Theatre in collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
“This is a prestigious program involving only 100 cities in the United States, virtually all of them larger than Mansfield,” said Chelsie Thompson, director of operations at the Renaissance. “It revolves around helping teachers to implement the arts as part of their daily curriculum through arts integration.”
Thompson cited research which shows that the arts – music, dance, puppetry, storytelling and other mediums –reach students who are not otherwise being reached to help open doors to math, science, language arts and history. For some students, auditory input is most valuable; others rely upon a visual style. Still others learn through kinesthetic means, or a combination of the three.
Phil Mitchell is Mansfield City Schools’ representative on the Mansfield Partners in Education Team. “We want to spread the word about the value of these workshops, which have been presented at the Renaissance Theatre for several years now,” Mitchell said. “They are free. All teachers have to do is register.”
The cost of registration and dinner are covered through the sponsorship of the Ohio Arts Council and Charles P. Hahn of Cleveland Financial Group. Thompson said the presentations are open to teachers throughout Richland County. The next workshop on Oct. 24 will feature Dr. Ryan Hourigan, director of the School of Music at Ball State University. He will discuss the challenges associated with how to include students with special needs into performance-based experiences and how to break down the obstacles that hinder participation in performance at all levels. The 4:30 to 7:30 PM session will include dinner. Participants will have three contact hours toward CEUs.
Other scheduled workshops, each also set for 4:30 to 7:30 PM, include: