Orlando Repertory Theatre

Progress of Grant Award programming

Orlando REP was able to complete the “One School at a Time” professional development program this Spring for Hungerford Elementary School. Despite the dramatic changes in our way of life and education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Orlando REP was able to implement the program for
teachers and families, bringing arts integration experience to literacy for elementary-aged children. Orlando Repertory Theatre staff scripted, filmed, and distributed two videos of Story Drama Lessons to teachers of PreK-2nd grade students. These videos include instruction on Story Drama and are a
virtual/digital substitute for Model Lessons and Team Teaching.

How the organization shifted their plans/programming due to pandemic circumstances:

To ensure instructors felt supported with these tools, Orlando REP also hosted an online reflection group with participating teachers to reflect on the experience and allow teachers to ask questions and share practices with one another. The online meeting also included a model lesson, to replace
the modeling that would have happened on-site in classrooms. In lieu of a Family Literacy Night where students and their families would celebrate these lessons, Orlando REP staff designed and assembled Family Literacy Kits for students at Hungerford Elementary. These kits include a parent
letter, book, mask coloring kit, and Actor’s Toolbox flashcards along with discussion questions and activities. The activities include independent work as well as work students can do with their caretakers. The kits were delivered to Hungerford Elementary and distributed to their student body
in August of 2020.

Lessons learned from having to re-group which will help the organization going forward:

The Engaged Learning Through the Arts (ELTA) professional development work, refined with lessons learned from the Foundation-funded work this past Spring, is designed to increase confidence and creativity in teachers while strengthening literacy and vocabulary in students.  The Story Drama lessons in particular (designed for early childhood education) are in high demand – this Fall, we will be executing 16 different modules of this programming for each of the 5 Kindergarten classes at Lake Highland Preparatory School! It is the Rep’s hope to use this as a pilot of sorts, to strengthen outcomes and impact measurement, and then to scale up offerings in the Spring (and into the 21/22 school year.)