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PES taking their improv act on the road

Members of Pulaski Elementary School’s first improv company have taken their act on the road.
By the end of this week, the group of about 20 third, fourth and fifth graders will have performed their play about bullying at their home school, along with perfomances at Riverlawn and Snowville Elementary.
The students involved with the PES Improv Company have been part of a process called the ImprovAffect. Since February, they have participated in after-school workshops filled with improv games, activities and discussions focused on the topic of bullying, led by Michael Anthony Williams, professional actor, writer, and creator of the ImprovAffect, along with PES teacher Kimberly Sink.
Williams has taken the students’ thoughts and ideas from the workshops and developed them into a performance piece, which the students have been sharing with their peers over the past week.
The opportunity for the students to participate in this program arose through Virginia Tech’s Center for the Creative Technologies in the Arts.
Through this experience, Sink commented that the students have "learned how to prevent and avoid bullying situations, how to be a team and work together," and that their self-confidence has grown throughout the process.
"When the students received their script that was crafted from their workshops on bullying, they gained the understanding that what they had to say mattered," she said. "They knew their words were going to be heard by others through their theatrical performance on bullying. That was exciting for them!"
From a teacher’s point of view, Sink said she has "gained valuable insight of the effectiveness of merging the arts into public education."
She said the ImprovAffect can be adapted for any theme or subject, and teachers can use the workshop games and strategies to teach key concepts in the classroom, use the students’ words from those workshops to craft a script, and have student teach others about the concept through performing their script.
"This is such a fun and effective way of teaching the Standards of Learning," she said, noting that it also helps student’s writing and reading comprehension skills through the process of crafting the script and the repeated readings during the practice of rehearsing the scripts.
This is the youngest age group that Williams has ever done the ImprovAffect with, and he said he was "really pleased" with the overall experience. He said he plans to get ImprovAffect out to as many schools as possible over the next few years.
"I am very, very proud of the company at Pulaski Elementary, and the support we received there from administration and staff," he said. "Everyone was supportive, which made for a great learning experience for all involved."

PES taking their improv act on the road

Members of Pulaski Elementary School’s first improv company have taken their act on the road.
By the end of this week, the group of about 20 third, fourth and fifth graders will have performed their play about bullying at their home school, along with perfomances at Riverlawn and Snowville Elementary.
The students involved with the PES Improv Company have been part of a process called the ImprovAffect. Since February, they have participated in after-school workshops filled with improv games, activities and discussions focused on the topic of bullying, led by Michael Anthony Williams, professional actor, writer, and creator of the ImprovAffect, along with PES teacher Kimberly Sink.
Williams has taken the students’ thoughts and ideas from the workshops and developed them into a performance piece, which the students have been sharing with their peers over the past week.
The opportunity for the students to participate in this program arose through Virginia Tech’s Center for the Creative Technologies in the Arts.
Through this experience, Sink commented that the students have "learned how to prevent and avoid bullying situations, how to be a team and work together," and that their self-confidence has grown throughout the process.
"When the students received their script that was crafted from their workshops on bullying, they gained the understanding that what they had to say mattered," she said. "They knew their words were going to be heard by others through their theatrical performance on bullying. That was exciting for them!"
From a teacher’s point of view, Sink said she has "gained valuable insight of the effectiveness of merging the arts into public education."
She said the ImprovAffect can be adapted for any theme or subject, and teachers can use the workshop games and strategies to teach key concepts in the classroom, use the students’ words from those workshops to craft a script, and have student teach others about the concept through performing their script.
"This is such a fun and effective way of teaching the Standards of Learning," she said, noting that it also helps student’s writing and reading comprehension skills through the process of crafting the script and the repeated readings during the practice of rehearsing the scripts.
This is the youngest age group that Williams has ever done the ImprovAffect with, and he said he was "really pleased" with the overall experience. He said he plans to get ImprovAffect out to as many schools as possible over the next few years.
"I am very, very proud of the company at Pulaski Elementary, and the support we received there from administration and staff," he said. "Everyone was supportive, which made for a great learning experience for all involved."