Posted by Mollie Reid, Oklahoma Children's Theatre on November 17, 2016
Our Share Your Story contest which ended on October 31st. The goal of this contest was to entice our customers to share with us the ways they use books they purchase in bulk. And the stories we received were wonderfully unique and interesting! From these, we selected a winning story and awarded $250 in free books to Mollie Reid from Oklahoma Children’s Theater for her inspiring and creative story.
Our winning story submitted by Mollie Reid from Oklahoma Children's Theatre.
Making You Love to Read: A Recipe
Since the fall of 2015 Oklahoma Children’s Theatre has ordered almost 2,000 copies of Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice for our outreach program called Page to Stage. This program creates an opportunity for the participants in 2nd grade to be excited to read and to have a greater understanding of what they read through a combination of workshops, independent reading and visualization of the story on the stage. Teachers and students in under-performing and low income schools are faced with many obstacles to effective teaching. There are the obvious ones including special needs students, disabilities, poor parental involvement, over-sized classes, lack of appropriate equipment and supplies, discipline and behavior issues, funding cuts and more. It is designed to be brought to low income under-served schools in the state of Oklahoma, where for some children this may be one of only a few books they can call their own. It may also be the first opportunity they have to participate in live theatre and workshop with actors.
In the Page to Stage program students to learn though a creative and story driven process centered on Freckle Juice which brings the characters to life and allows students to become part of a story. It supports classroom teachers and their efforts to encourage life-long learning and curiosity and it addresses many different learning types through reading, listening, hands on participation and observation. We have found that the Judy Blume’s story is one that 2nd grades can so easily connect to as they all struggle with wanting things they cannot always have, learn to deal with a variety of peers, and are learning to love themselves just the way they are. The program is set up in three parts: Workshop 1: In which a teaching artists visits the classroom and reads the first three chapters on the story. Students then begin to make predictions, identify main events, discuss and portray character traits, and learn new vocabulary. Workshop 2: the teaching artist returns to finish the story and work with the students to sequence the events, identify a variety of cause and effect found in the story, and finally to create a recipe of their very own. Workshop 3: On this final visit Oklahoma Children’s Theatre brings in actors to work with the students to put on a live performance of “Freckle Juice.” The students act alongside the actors to bring the story to life and after they take their final bow every student is surprised with their very own copy of Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice.
If You Use This Recipe:
We are very proud of the ways that the program has grown in the last year by reaching so many young readers, but we are also proud of the outcome of the program on these readers. In the 2015-2016 program year 94% of readers identified the main characters and 90% were able to sequence the main events in “Freckle Juice” after participating in Page to Stage. Before participation, none of the students knew these characters or any of the plot elements. 95% of readers said that seeing the play helped them understand the story. Finally, 91% of readers said that they like reading more after participating in Page to Stage. The mission of Oklahoma Children’s Theatre is to provide extraordinary live theatre and interactive educational experiences for young audiences. We inspire young people to visualize their potential, enhance family relationships and invest in the future of our communities. Page to Stage served over 1,300 2nd Grade students since September 2015. With the growth and success of this program we have determined that there is even more potential to impact students by expanding the program into 1st grade classrooms. For this expansion, we will bring another Judy Blume story to life The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo, with a goal of working with and presenting 600 1st graders with their very own copy. We have just completed our first book order for the 2016-2017 program year for 600 copies of “Freckle Juice” and we look forward to working with the wonderful Mike again in the next month to place our next bulk book order!