Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UIS and Springfield Public Schools collaborate for Partners in Education Institute

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) have joined together to form a team that was recently selected to participate in the national Partners in Education Institute, which will take place May 5 through May 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Carly Shank, director of audience development and communication for Sangamon Auditorium, is the institute’s principal for the Auditorium, and Lynn Gilmore, Elementary Music Specialist for SPS, is the representative for the school district. Shank and Gilmore, along with Bob Vaughn, director of Sangamon Auditorium, will attend the institute.

“Few factors are as important to building audiences for the performing arts as the effectiveness of local educators in local schools,” Vaughn noted. “The Auditorium can provide access and opportunities otherwise unavailable to students and teachers; consequently, we have pursued this opportunity for partnership to assure a brighter future for all parties involved and for society at large.”

Lynn Gilmore believes this collaboration will help strengthen arts education throughout the district.

“The arts are essential to every child’s education. It serves as an avenue that sparks creativity and imagination in the minds of learners. In that same light, every student needs a stage and our collaboration with UIS offers a venue to express themselves via the arts,” said Gilmore.

Fourteen other teams of arts organizations and school systems were chosen to attend the institute, which promotes partnerships in communities across the country between arts organizations and local school districts, focusing on the development of arts education programs for teachers.

The institute provides training and information to design an effective arts and arts integration professional development program for teachers in their communities. Participants will have the opportunity to observe established professional development workshops in action at the Kennedy Center with teachers in attendance. They will also participate in content sessions that prepare them in how to plan, implement and evaluate professional development in the arts and arts integration for teachers.

The new teams will join the existing 90 teams from 44 states and the District of Columbia currently participating in the Partners in Education program. In addition to this institute, the program holds an annual conference in Washington, where attendees exchange ideas and address issues facing their communities.

“We look to supplement the considerable efforts of UIS in teacher education while providing a dialogue that can build meaningful and transformative relationships for years to come,” Vaughn said.

The institute is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund.

For more information about the collaboration between Sangamon Auditorium and District 186, contact Bob Vaughn at 217/206-8280 or Lynn Gilmore at 217/525-3264.

For more information about the Partners in Education program, call 202/416-8806 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners.

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