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BARD COLLEGE STUDENTS WORK IN RESIDENCY AT MILL ROAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL THROUGH BRIDGES PROGRAM Fifth Grade Students Produce Mini-Plays on Friday, November 19
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Empire State Partnership Grant BRIDGES program, integrating art education in the classroom, is sponsoring a residency of Bard drama and dance program students at Mill Road School. The culmination of the residency is the production of mini plays, written by the fifth grade students and performed for the other students at the school. The performance is scheduled Friday, November 19.
Julie Bindeman, the Bard College senior who is in charge of the drama residency of eighteen Bard drama students, has worked with the fifth grade students since the beginning of the semester. Bindeman began working with the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. program three years ago and has worked with both the second and fifth grades. She notes that one of the objects of the program is to incorporate the arts into the already existing curriculum. The Bard students have worked with the children providing them an overview of the theater, that included a tour of the Bard College Avery Arts Center theater, devising theatrical games and exercises, and guiding the children in creating journals to record their thoughts and experiences.
The mini plays have been written by the children with the guidance of their fifth grade teachers. The characters are animals found within the Hudson Valley, based on their fifth grade science curriculum and information drawn from their language arts curriculum of Native American folktales. The children have created masks with the art teacher at the school, and the Bard students are directing the plays.
In July of 1997 the Red Hook Central School District’s Mill Road Elementary School and Bard College received a prestigious Empire State Partnership Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Education Department to form the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. program. The grants, which are highly competitive, are given to public schools working in partnership with cultural institutions. The Red Hook/Bard College partnership with the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. program "is a model program for New York State," according to Gigi Alvere, coordinator, "the only one which is in conjunction with a college in New York State." The collaboration between Bard College and the Red Hook Central School District serves all 1,600 elementary school students at the Mill Road School.
For further information about the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. program call, Gigi Alvare at 914-757-2804.
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(Editors: Photo opportunities and interviews with students and faculty members are possible. Please call Emily Darrow at 914-758-7512 to confirm time and location.)