The proof is in the.... hey, don't eat that!

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We are on a quest 

To share the empowerment of Literacy Practice through Theater in Education.
 

Who we are
Satyrus Jeering is a Theater in Education troupe that creates discovery moments through collaborative storytelling. Our in-school performances reinforce positive literacy habits, proving results that can be measured through existing, educational metrics.

What we do
We tailor high level, in-school experiences, using theatrical strategies that reinforce character building skills through reading and writing practices. These practices support and encourage  journaling, creative writing and storytelling, which has a strong impact on phonemic awareness.

A proven method
Our work is informed by classic Theater In Education & The Leonard Bernstein, Artful Learning model.

Theatre in Education (TIE)

TIE is a process which includes all the interactive theatre/drama practices that help aid the educational process. As TIE is used, new strategies and objectives for using theatre as an educational tool emerge.

Artful Learning

Artful Learning is an educational philosophy model that is concept-based and interdisciplinary. Artful Learning was initiated by Leonard Bernstein and is rooted in using the arts to enhance all areas of education.

Theater in Education provides the opportunity to create a strong, intergrade culture; offering an exciting and surprising element to the schoolhouse environment benefitting attendance and communication through creative dialogue and schoolwide exploration.
 

Why We Do It

 Reading Proficiency

We know that 66% of U.S. fourth graders scored “below proficient” on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), meaning that they are not reading at grade level.1  Even more alarming is the fact that among students from low-income backgrounds, 80 percent score below grade level in reading.2

This statistic has not significantly changed since 2013.

1 http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/publications/main2013/pdf/2014451.pdf
2 http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/subject/publications/main2013/pdf/2014451.pdf

 Chronic Absenteeism
A California study found only 17% of students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade were likely to be reading proficiently in third grade, compared to 64% of students who had good attendance.

How It Works

 Surprise!

When kids want to go to school, their families are more likely to get them there.

Our model uses entertaining, surprise antics to create intrigue and anticipation within the classroom setting. Our use of theater creates learning gaps, wherein we can instill positive literacy habits through the power of spoken word. And our “never know when” arrival, creates a yearning in students to return to the classroom.

The Program

 Our program centers around the first literary release of the author Satyrus Jeering; The Nitch.

Anecdotally, Satyrus Jeering is a legendary Facemaker (mask maker) as well as a storyteller, so the program uses the exploration of identity through masked players to deliver the program in an exciting way.

About the book:

The Nitch is an illustrated, adventure poem which acts as an allegory for creative manifestation. Five characters within the story also function as the five points of a classical Theater in Education program arch. The Itch, The Twitch, The Snitch, The Glitch and finally The Nitch each represent one specific stage of the creative writing process, as identified below:

1.     The Itch

Prewriting. Find your idea and make a map.

2.     The Twitch

Writing. Now you have your plan and you're ready to start writing.

3.     The Snitch

Revision. Your story can change a great deal during this stage.

4.     The Glitch

Editing. The fine tuning.

5.     The Nitch

Publishing. Share your story with the world.

Where we have been

In 2015, we performed a pilot of The Nitch at Walnut Hills Elementary in Waukee, on a boot-strapped budget, with great results. Our goal is to expand and better define the program and accompanying materials to include a strongly collaborative and measureable offering.

At Walnut Hills we:

·      Reached 800 K-5 students

·      Proved strong inquiry and engagement

·      Received positive feedback from administrators and Teachers

Here is how the program took shape:

1.     Faculty talk

a)    Ian Miller presents the programs background and outline to the faculty.

b)   The faculty is presented with program binder and associated materials.

c)    “Cabinet of Curiosities” is installed in the school common area, providing a portal for inquiry and establishing presence.

 

2. Assembly 1

The Cohort (masked players) disrupt the assembly and present the premise. The first character (The Itch) is presented, and the troupe poses the first literary challenge.

3-5. Classroom visits

a)    The Cohort makes three visits over the span of the semester, entering each classroom during each visit to forward the story

b)   With each visit, The Cohort explores a new character in the five-part process and presents a new challenge to be completed. Completion of the challenge activates the return visits.

c)    Each teacher receives materials outlining the engagement and current challenge upon each visit, providing them the source materials for future, autonomous replication.

6. Finale

a)    The Cohort returns for a performance finale, and full reading of The Nitch.

b)   A possible field trip to community theater for final performance, as well as a collaborative theater experience, wherein students from the school perform along side The Cohort.

We propose to include virtual aspects with the program, to include sound and video files which allow for further interaction within classrooms.
 

Some of these features might include:

1. Audio messages from the author to be played over the intercom system

2. Video messages from The Cohort

3. Virtual journaling system which provides a collaborative writing platform.