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ArtsWestchester Spotlights Arts In Education Program at Yonkers School

Anna Lisa Negro, parent, State Assembly member Shelley Mayer, D-Yonkers; ArtsWestchester Teaching Artist Marion Jones Archer; Isabelle Negro, student; School 30 Principal Marjorie Brown-Anfelouss; and ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam
Anna Lisa Negro, parent, State Assembly member Shelley Mayer, D-Yonkers; ArtsWestchester Teaching Artist Marion Jones Archer; Isabelle Negro, student; School 30 Principal Marjorie Brown-Anfelouss; and ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- ArtsWestchester shined a light on the arts in education program at School 30 in Yonkers with an African dance performance March 8 at School 30.

State Assembly member Shelley Mayer, D-Yonkers,  joined with ArtsWestchester, school officials and other leaders  to witness the program first-hand.

The programs was made possible by a $500,000 grant by the New York State Education Department for the 2015-16 school year.

During the demonstration, fifth- and sixth-grade students presented an African dance performance that helped them to understand their social studies curriculum.

“It is amazing to see how the arts can bring the curriculum being taught in the classroom to life,” said Janet Langsam, CEO, ArtsWestchester.

“We are especially thankful for the leadership of Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow in garnering this funding for ArtsWestchester and the school district. This grant continues a longstanding relationship between ArtsWestchester and Yonkers Public Schools that goes back nearly 30 years," she said.

For 10 weeks, fifth and sixth graders from School 30 worked with ArtsWestchester teaching artist Marion Jones Archer to better understand their social studies curriculum through dance and movement relating to important African American figures in United States history and traditional African movements, music and stories.

The culminating event featured a number of West African dance and movements. This is the second $500,000 grant provided to ArtsWestchester to implement innovative artist residencies in partnership with the Yonkers School District. A grant was also given for the 2014-15 school year for this program.

With the grant, ArtsWestchester is able to integrate artist-in-residency programs in K-12 classrooms, providing students with exposure to the arts and utilizing the arts to strengthen learning in curriculum subjects.

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