OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
The Paramount and State Theaters
Literacy to Life
The Paramount and State Theatres engage children throughout Central Texas, cultivating a lifelong appreciation of the arts through their Education & Outreach Program.
The Impact Austin grant will fund the Literacy to Life program, an eight week workshop in 3rd and 4th grade classrooms that uses drama, storytelling, and writing exercises to help students develop writing skills and celebrate the power of their imaginations. At the end of the residency, an ensemble of professional actors honors the creative voices of these students by bringing their writing to life in an energetic production for the whole school to see.
The Paramount and State Theatres sought to reach 400 students during each year of the grant period as well as deliver final performances to 4,000 students by the end of the period.
Both of these goals were either realized or surpassed, with 434 students from 22 classrooms participating in the program during the 2012-2013 period, and some 4,000 students attending the final performances. These figures demonstrate a significant boost from the 2010-2011 period, when 141 students from seven classrooms took part in the program and 1,000 students attended the final performances.
Furthermore, during the full grant period, the number of participating students totaled 686, while there were 27 teachers engaged in the program. This strong participation also led to improved academic performance; students’ writing skills and attitudes towards reading and writing as well as their creativity levels and engagement in the classroom were assessed both before and after the program with statistically significant increases reported with the metrics applied.
Moreover, Literacy to Life encountered an unanticipated benefit from this project. Due to an initial challenge of achieving consistent levels of teacher engagement in the program, the Paramount and State Theatres began a pre-residency orientation for participating teachers, resulting in a stronger professional development component.