From School to Stage – Access the Arts Gives Students Front Row Seats

Posted on 06/05/2018
Access the Arts Gives Students Front Row Seats

Education in the arts can help inspire the creative interests of students, as well as open pathways for career opportunities. At Francis Howell Central, the Drama Club is inspiring students by offering  Access the Arts, a program through STAGES St. Louis that enables area youth with physical, cognitive, and/or developmental delays to participate in theater arts.

Through the Access the Arts program, FHC was able to have a professional actor/choreographer work with the Actor’s Studio 2 class and special needs students over the course of 14 weeks. The program is dedicated to developing participants' skills in acting, singing, and dance (and thereby the related areas of communication skills, speech, and gross motor development). The program features traditional musical theater courses adapted to meet the needs of all participants. At the conclusion of the program, the FHC Drama club sponsored a production of selected scenes from the children’s theater show, “The Lion and the Mouse Stories.”

Cori Stallard, FHC Drama teacher, was excited to be able to offer Access the Arts at FHC because of the positive effect the program has on students with special needs and her drama students as well. “I worked with the program as a student teacher years ago,” said Stallard. “When I saw what the impact could be, I knew in my heart I would bring this program to FHC.”

FHC’s participation in the Access the Arts program is made possible through from a grant from Delta Kappa Gamma that Stallard applied for, as well as grant money from the Centene Corporation.



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