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PAC invited to Kennedy Center "Partners in Education" Institute

Posted: March 5, 2010 1:42 p.m.
Updated: March 13, 2010 1:38 p.m.
Just two years after unveiling its K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons and its local educational partners - the Newhall, Saugus Union and Sulphur Springs School Districts - have been invited by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to participate in the prestigious Partners In Education Institute, May 5-8, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation develop and/or expand educational partnerships with local school systems in order to establish arts-based professional development programs for teachers.

The program is based on the belief that educating teachers is an essential component of any effort to increase the artistic literacy of young people.

"As one of only 14 national teams to have been selected, this is a great honor for College of the Canyons, our program partners and the city of Santa Clarita," said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director. "What's most exciting is that while our team will consist of four members, what we will bring back will serve all five local school districts and the entire Santa Clarita Valley."

During the Institute, partnership teams, consisting of a member of an arts organization and a senior level administrator of a neighboring school district, will be presented with a model and planning strategies on how to launch an arts-orientated professional development program.

"The Kennedy Center is proud to provide a platform to help schools and arts organizations to better serve their communities," said Darrell M. Ayers, vice president of education at the Kennedy Center. "Arts integration workshops for teachers help provide a more complete education for students. We are always impressed with the exchange of ideas at the Partners in Education Institute."

After attending the Institute, a follow-up consultation and annual meetings to assist teams in their continued program development are provided. Each team will also be invited to attend the annual Partners In Education program conference in Washington D.C.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to further our own knowledge and expertise by working with the Kennedy Center's panel of arts professionals," said Joan Lucid, Saugus Union School District assistant superintendent of instruction and curriculum. "What we learn during the Institute will allow us to build on our passion and expand the vision for arts education in the Santa Clarita Valley."

The PAC's K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program seeks to use the college's vast cultural and community resources to expose students to the visual and performing arts, while also collaborating with teachers and administrators in school districts throughout the area to develop an enhanced arts education curriculum, and a variety of unique educational opportunities for all students.

"Through this collaboration we will touch thousands of children across the valley for years to come," said Kathy Harris, Sulphur Springs School District assistant superintendent of instruction and curriculum. "Who knows how many future artists, dancers, musicians and performers we might help inspire along the way."


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