ESCONDIDO–California Center for the Arts, Escondido has a hidden treasure that local schools have discovered – a three month long education program called My Story: Literacy Through the Arts, that works with fourth and fifth grade classes to support their art education and literacy needs.
This innovative school outreach program engages students in lessons about drama, or photography combined with language arts. It is free to schools and available on a first-come first-served basis. Each class is assigned a teaching artist who guides them through specified lesson plans each week.
Fifth grade students learn the art of photography combined with creative writing. Specific focus on photography elements include: macro photography, composition, pattern, portrait and series. Students get to use the latest digital equipment and technology that is not readily available to these underserved classes.
Fourth grade students have the privilege of learning the art of drama. California History is used as a catalyst to teach these techniques- relating back to the teacher’s curriculum. Drama is taught using interactive based activities focusing on voice, movement, storytelling, and playwriting. Each lesson introduces students to a certain time in California history- whether they are acting as a Native American Tribe, or mimicking life when Mexico gained independence from Spain.
Since its inception six years ago, My Story has steadily grown each year, becoming a highly sought after program by Escondido educators. This year’s program is comprised of approximately 600 students from Central, Rock Springs, Glen View, North Broadway, Pioneer, Juniper, Oak Hill and Rose elementary schools. Teachers expressed the many benefits this program offers, conveying it aids students by “stressing clear, detailed exercises, increasing ability to build connections between concepts, and strengthening skills in collaboration and comprehension.”
A final presentation from each class will be presented to friends, family and the community in the Center Theater on April 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be performances at 10, 11, 12 and 1 p.m. Light refreshments and activities for the whole family will be provided.
My Story 2012-2013 is funded by McBeth Foundation, Qualcomm Foundation and Target.