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July 6, 2016

Van Wezel Summer Learning Program Combats Summer Slide

The stage is set for summer learning as The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall works to prepare students for school and assist with combating summer learning loss as part of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

The Van Wezel’s summer learning module series provides a three-pronged approach to ensure students gain meaningful learning experiences in, through, and about the arts while improving engagement and learning in reading and language arts. This includes teacher preparedness, student engagement, and family opportunities.

The Van Wezel has developed relationships with both the Sarasota and Manatee county Early Learning Coalitions to reach students who would benefit from the module series. Additional partnerships for modules are in the works.

Each site that will be participating in the summer learning module series will participate in a teacher training that will examine arts integration and provide an of overview the strategies utilized during the workshops. Teachers will be prepared to observe module work with students so they may continue to use the strategies after the teaching artist visits.

Focusing on student engagement assures an immediate impact, with each site receiving three lessons by a professional teaching artist. Students will learn tableau, costume work, and more as they explore reading skills such as inference, synonyms and antonyms, summarizing, and sequencing.

With a commitment to a two-generation approach, the Van Wezel will offer family nights for both Sarasota and Manatee counties. These nights will teach parents drama-based strategies from modules they can use at home, and allow parents to take home a book to practice these skills with their children.

Modules using Pete the Cat as a model have been developed and started earlier this month. Modules exploring Teacher from the Black Lagoon and other story books are currently in development.

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