The Mansfield site of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program will offer a free arts integration professional development workshop, titled Helping Students Develop and Tell Their Stories, for teachers in January at the Mansfield Arts Center. Judy Thibault-Klevins, a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and drama educator, will lead the workshop, which is most beneficial for teachers of grades 3-7.

The workshop will take place from 4:30-7:30 PM at the Mansfield Arts Center on January 8, and dinner is included. Participants will receive up to three contact hours for professional development credit. There is no fee to attend, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Charles P. Hahn of Cleveland Financial Group, KeyBank Foundation, and additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. Registration for the educator workshop is available online at:

Ms. Klevins’ Helping Students Develop and Tell Their Stories workshop allows teachers to explore, and learn ways to help students understand story structure by developing personal narratives with a clear beginning, middle, and end, and using storytelling techniques to tell stories more vividly. Participants will explore a process for helping students choose appropriate topics, visualize the story, and use simple sketching and writing to organize and capture their own and others’ stories. Teachers also learn how to “coach” students to project their voices and use appropriate posture and gestures for more effective storytelling.

Judy Thibault-Klevins is a drama educator who has directed hundreds of plays and projects with people who range in age from seven to ninety-two. A theater and language arts teacher in Arlington, Virginia, Ms. Klevins’ high school booster club named her “Coach of the Year,” and she continues to serve as a coach/mentor to teachers as they introduce drama strategies in their classroom. Ms. Klevins also served as Arlington’s Arts Education Specialist. A presenter at international and national conventions, she has created, directed, and performed readings at the U.S. Senate Office Building, the National Institutes of Health, and other venues, and created Swapping Stories©, a unique intergenerational/intercultural drama project.

This workshop was developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is partially underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for the Performing Arts. Mansfield was selected in 2010 to join the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its Partners in Education program. Mansfield is one of approximately 100 sites across the country in the program. For more information on this professional development opportunity, contact the Renaissance Theatre Education Department at 419-522-2726 ext. 252 or email [email protected].

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