Thursday, July 16, 2015
Broadway Books First Class
It seems as though the next passionate endeavor, which I alluded to in my last post, was patiently waiting in the wings the whole time. Who knew?
It is a new project I created called Broadway Books First Class. The program is set around the simple idea of inviting Broadway performers - past and present - into my classroom once a month to read a children's book to my deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing First Grade students. The readings will either be interpreted or read using American Sign Language.
I have always felt that New York City should serve as an extension of our school and have welcomed the cultural opportunities available to us through our incredible surroundings. We visit museums, iconic landmarks, parks, theaters, and exhibits so why not bring a little of this magic through our doors? The Broadway Books First Class program is yet another way to take advantage of NYC's unique gifts to promote literacy and the arts for my students and the school community.
I first posted about the program via Facebook on July 3rd. That night Tony Award Winner Gregory Jbara (Billy Elliott) responded to my post with "I'm interested". His generous support gave the project immediate momentum and within days five other performers had committed to the project. They include a two-time Tony Award nominated actress and a Tony Award nominated playwright! There are also some heartwarming personal stories connected with the performers (I won't give those away just yet).
In less than two weeks this has developed into quite a promising enterprise. I am creating a website and working with an artist to design a logo somewhat akin to the dancing book I mocked up last night using Photobucket (pictured above). And a press release is scheduled for August.
I am excited to develop a literacy and arts curriculum around the visits that also includes a technology component and builds upon the experience in a fun, positive manner.
Now, if anyone can get the word out to Vanessa Williams or Stockard Channing...