PNB's DanceChance and more bring the arts back to Emerson Elementary

PNB's DanceChance and more bring the arts back to Emerson Elementary
Posted on 04/02/2015
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Jalen, a third-grader at Emerson Elementary, is one of a select group of Seattle Public Schools students studying dance at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School through PNB’s DanceChance program. Twice a week he takes time out of his school day to take the bus to PNB for classes.

The PNB program is just one of the arts opportunities Emerson has been able to bring into the school. Schools apply to participate in DanceChance, which is fully funded by PNB. This year, Emerson also was accepted into Disney Musicals in Schools, an education program offered through the Seattle Theatre Group. The school also brought in Arts Corps and Arts Impact to integrate visual arts into the curriculum, using grant funding.

The arts, said Emerson Principal Farah Thaxton, "tend to be the first thing that we cut in Title I schools."

Bringing the arts back into Emerson meant seeking out grants and partnerships that would allow them to integrate the arts into core subjects like writing and math. The arts become a vehicle for building 21st century skills, Thaxton said. "The only we we could see adding the arts was by integrating it rather than adding it on." Jalen in the studio at PNB

Jalen will be featured in a program on the Seattle Channel expected out this summer.

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