An artist educator and renowned world professional jazz vocalist will visit Mansfield this month to work with local teachers in a free workshop titled “Building Reading Comprehension Through Sound and Rhythm.”

Imani Gonzalez, a teaching artist in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, will lead the workshop from 4:30 to 7:30 PM on October 22 at the Renaissance Theatre.

The free program, which includes dinner, is sponsored by Charles P. Hahn of Cleveland Financial Group and the KeyBank Foundation with additional support from the Ohio Arts Council. It is offered to teachers in Mansfield City Schools and all other area districts. Workshop attendance provides three contact hours toward CEU credit.

Gonzalez will guide teachers through the process of enhancing student learning by using sound and rhythm to help students develop reading comprehension skills and make connections between music and language. The process helps students create a way to retell a story that will connect them to the story’s mood, tone, setting and characters’ culture.

The workshop also will emphasize ways in which this learning process helps students attend to sensory images, use questioning strategies, respond to inference and determine importance – all of which helps students develop a better understanding of the text.

Gonzalez, a resident of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, has performed and toured with such renowned artists as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. She has taught in public and private schools as a traditional world music teacher. Her voice is featured on many of the National Geographic Television’s Explorer Series soundtracks, including the Emmy-nominated film “The Jane Goodall Biography.”

Registration for the workshop is available online at For more information contact the Renaissance Education Department at 419-522-2726, ext. 251 or email [email protected].

Since 2010 Mansfield City Schools, Renaissance Performing Arts and the Mansfield Art Center have been participants in the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program.

Source: Mansfield City Schools

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