Oregon Children's Theatre

Oregon Children's Theatre's mission is to advance growth, development and creativity through exceptional theater experiences.
Nov 14, 2012

Duck for President project report

Students from Rosa Parks Elementary
Students from Rosa Parks Elementary

Thank you for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

OCT’s 2012-2013 season has just begun with the smash hit Duck for President! Fed up with farm chores, Duck decides to challenge Farmer Brown to an election, only to discover that being in charge of the farm is hard work. So he decides to run for governor—and then president—kissing babies and hitting the late-night talk show circuit along the way. With showy campaign numbers, barnyard election antics, and nods to famous presidential moments, you’ll be ready to vote Duck for President no matter what side of the election you’re on.

Just under 10,000 students from 130 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended a school performance of Duck for President. OCT provided full scholarships to 691 students and partial scholarships to 521 students. We offered teachers a free professional development workshop with OCT’s Technical Director and invited them to attend a complimentary performance to preview the play before bringing their classes.

Seeing live theater is always a powerful experience for young people, and for many school audience members, it’s the only live arts experience they’ll have all year. Fan mail from students emphasizes the impact: “it was super fantastical—my favorite part was the whole thing.” “I did not want to leave, it was a blast.” Feedback from teachers illustrates that live theater is not only fun and engaging—it strengthens students’ appreciation of reading and language arts: “my students could not stop talking about [the play]. They were comparing their favorite parts, talking about what was funniest, and comparing it to the book.”

Duck for President offered great opportunities to connect the arts to civics education and the 2012 election. One of OCT’s goals as an organization is to provide school audiences with curriculum connections and opportunities for learning beyond students’ trip to the theater. Providing teachers with free resources is one of the ways that OCT deepens student experiences. Teachers receive complimentary tickets to preview performances and also attend backstage tours with OCT’s technical director. Each production also has a free teacher resource guide filled with discussion starters, activities tied to educational standards and learning goals, and reading resources provided by the Multnomah County Library. Duck’s quest for the presidency isn’t entirely filled with pure intentions, but it does provide ample room for discussion about what makes a good leader and citizen, fairness and democratic process, and how to achieve big change on the grassroots level—topics that directly connect to social sciences educational standards for primary grades.

The Duck for President curriculum connections included:

  • Rights and responsibilities of citizens
  • Government, democracy, and politics
  • Local, state, and national levels of government
  • Responsibility and leadership
  • Elections and politics
  • Cooperating and solving conflicts
  • Language arts: slogans and speeches, letter writing, debate, and more
  • Math: counting votes, graphing, fractions

In order to further engage students with the election, OCT also conducted presidential elections at each school matinee. Teachers were provided with voting packets in advance, they polled their students, and turned in their official classroom results to the OCT staff in the theater lobby. Results were tallied and shared with students from the stage, and cumulative results were also be shared with schools—resulting in a great way to incorporate mathematics curriculum into an arts experience.

Please feel free to contact us if we can provide any additional information about Duck for President or Oregon Children's Theatre’s educational services for disadvantaged schools. Thank you again for your support!

Read the Duck for President teacher resource guide

Visit Duck for President's campaign website

Links:

Aug 3, 2012

2011-2012 Season Report

Letter from student who attended an OCT field trip
Letter from student who attended an OCT field trip

Thank you for your support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

We recently concluded our 2011-2012 season of plays, and we would like to take this opportunity to update our donors on the number of children and teachers from disadvantaged schools we served during the season.

47,242 students from 443 schools attended an OCT play during the 2011-2012 season. We maintained our low ticket prices for schools (just $5.75-$7.75 per seat), and offered full and partial scholarship to schools with the greatest need. 3,612 received partial scholarships to attend, and 4,541 received full scholarships.

In addition, OCT offered 5 free professional development workshops for teachers. The workshops were designed to encourage the integration of arts learning activities into classroom lessons and to demonstrate how theater and the arts can benefit student achievement. 66 teachers attended the workshops.

Teachers were also invited to free preview performances so they could see the play and the theater prior to their field trip; helping them coordinate their trip and assisting with the integration of the play into classroom activities. 193 teachers attended free preview performances.

I’d like to share some letters from students and teachers attended an OCT field trip this year. They would not have had the opportunity to attend an OCT production without your support.

 “We brought our third and fourth graders to “Locomotion” yesterday and as we teachers were talking after school we think it’s the best play we’ve ever been to. The emotion and story line both came through so well and made us all want to begin writing the instant we got back to school.”
-3rd/4th grade teacher

“That play inspired me to start writing. That notebook you gave out at the end…I filled up the whole thing.”
-Student from Portland Adventist Elementary 

“When I could tear my eyes away from the stage, I would glance at (my students), and I saw them all watching every moment. One student with autism was thrilled that the action matched the book, and he was following every move… For me, it was as good as theater gets, and my students were captivated.”
-High school teacher from a special education classroom

 “Thank you for helping me get our small kindergarten group in to see the show; it was quite a memorable way to end our school year.”
-Teacher from Cedar Hills Kindergarten & Preschool

“It was my favorite play ever!”
-3rd grade student from Rosa Parks Elementary

Thank you again for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

2011-2012 Annual Report
2011-2012 Annual Report
2011-2012 Contributors
2011-2012 Contributors
May 15, 2012

Locomotion Educational Report

Thank you for your generous support of Oregon Children’s Theatre!

In March, we closed our production of Locomotion, a lyrical and thoughtful story about an eleven-year-old boy dealing with the loss of his parents. 5,384 students from 75 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington attended an OCT school performance of Locomotion. OCT provided full scholarships to 1,011 students and partial scholarships to 286 students.

OCT invited the teachers to attend a complimentary performance to preview the play before bringing their classes, and offered teachers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and learn from the award-winning Locomotion author and playwright Jacqueline Woodson. We also created free, in-depth resource guides for teachers who attended field trip performances of Locomotion, helping teachers directly connect the play to required learning benchmarks across a range of grade levels.

In addition, OCT facilitated a post-show discussion following every school performance of Locomotion, to engage students in thoughtful discussions about the themes of the play. And every audience member received a free writing journal, with prompts to encourage them to express themselves in writing.

We received very positive feedback from the teachers and students who attended Locomotion. A teacher whose class received a full scholarship to attend wrote:

“Thank you so much for allowing our students at attend this play…I think it really impacted a lot of them. They have already begun to use their journals for free writing.”

Another teacher wrote:

“We brought our third and fourth graders to Locomotion yesterday and as we teachers were talking after school…we think it’s the best play we’ve ever been to. The emotion and story line both came through so well and made us all want to begin writing the instant we got back to school.”

And a 3rd-grade student gave us this feedback:

“That play inspired me to start writing. That notebook you gave out at the end…I filled up the whole thing”

Please feel free to contact us if we can provide any additional information about Locomotion or Oregon Children's Theatre’s educational services for disadvantaged schools. Thank you again for your support!

Links:

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