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PNC’s Gift to Sangamon Auditorium

Grow Up Great
Above: Carly Shank, Director of Audience Development and Communication, prepares Head Start children for Fancy Nancy, a Sangamon Auditorium Class Acts performance.

PNC’S $90,000 Gift to Auditorium Yields Impressive Results

A year ago, in May, 2011, the PNC Foundation awarded its  first Grow Up Great grant in the Springfield area to Sangamon Auditorium. The three-year $90,000 grant provided funding to enhance the performing arts experiences of 600 Springfield Urban League Head Start students. 

Today, a year into the three-year grant, we can tell you the great results of PNC’s gift:

Head Start Children Experienced Performing Arts

1,211 seats were filled with Head Start students, teachers, and parent. Head Start teachers chose from the following programs: Skippyjon Jones, Aesop’s Fables, Treasured Stories
by Eric Carle
, Fancy Nancy and Other Storybooks. In the pictures at right Carly Shank and AmyZepp from theAuditorium prepare preschool children for a performance of Fancy Nancy.

  1. For each performance Amy Zepp designed preschool-appropriate learning materials for the four programs.
  2. Carly Shank designed a
    pre-show lesson plan to prepare the students for attending each live performance.
  3. As part of the pre-show experience for students, each classroom received a copy of a storybook related to the performance they would attend. 

Teachers offered their thanks to PNC, including the following: “We are very thankful to PNC for choosing to give to youth in such a grand fashion while teaching the children about the arts! Thank you!,”“We want to come back,” and “This was a great experience for the Head Start children.”

Urban League Head Start Families Attended UIS Family Series Events

A total of 66 families representing 291 individuals reserved tickets for ZooZoo, a performance by Imago Theater. Urban League families had an on-site meal and participated in one hour of pre-show activities.

Head Start Teachers Participated in Professional Development

A total of 58 Head Start teachers participated in a professional development workshop entitled “Drama Every Day,” part of the Auditorium’s “Partners in Education” program from the nationally recognized John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Comments from the teachers included “I learn better with hands-on. Excellent!”, “Great audience participation along with education,” and “We really enjoyed the activities.”

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