By Mitch Harris, Education and Outreach Associate
This week, more than 86,000 AISD students packed their backpacks with clean blank notebooks, pristine cartons of crayons and impeccably sharp pencils for their first week of classes. First day of school outfits were meticulously planned and the sense of anticipation throughout the 129 campuses was palpable.
Meanwhile at the Paramount Academy for the Arts, we have been anxiously preparing for our own special programs with dozens of these campuses throughout the Austin community.
Our Literacy to Life Program will be working in three schools and eight classrooms this semester. Through our seven-week residencies, 3rd grade students around the city will gain the confidence and creative writing skills create hundreds of stories which will then be workshopped, rehearsed and ultimately performed by professional actors and musicians in a high-energy variety show.
Through our STEM through the Arts program, teaching artists integrate the performing arts into established Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum. Fourth grade classes throughout Austin will get to experience their STEM curriculum in an exciting and creative new way.
Finally, tickets are available for our Paramount Discovery Series. This collection of shows for students and families brings more than 16,000 students to the historic Paramount Theatre every year to see theatre for youth brought in from around the country. Teachers have the option to add on fun and engaging pre-show workshops to help prepare their students to see the performance.
Even though the crayons may eventually wear down, the clean, blank notebook pages will fill up, and the pencils become dull. First day outfits will be forgotten and the first week of school excitement may fade, but the Paramount Academy for the Arts will continue to work with enthusiasm and pride to provide the highest quality arts programming in AISD.