By Lauren Barack for educationdive.com
At Bayfield High School in Colorado, the after-school theater program is a collaborative affair. Teachers get involved, parents chip in for costumes, and students commit to working, after the final bell, on its two shows a year.
The program’s director, Sarah Ripley — who also teaches special education at Bayfield Middle School — has 41 students participating this year in the school’s production of “Matilda” — a huge leap from the original 12 signups she got previously, mostly by persuading them during lunch periods, she said.
And that increased enthusiasm is rewarded. Everyone who signs up gets a role in the school’s production — whether it’s as a chorus member or a set designer — and Ripley’s watched the transformation students have undergone over the past two years.
“They walk away with a newfound confidence, presentation skills, vocal skills, and they find relationships that last for life,” Ripley told Education Dive. “They walk with their head higher.”
Despite stressing STEM education, theater still a priority
Even in an era when science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs are being lauded and encouraged among students, theater programs are still championed by many districts and schools.
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