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Grant Brings Arts to Riverhead School

Children were able to see a performance of "Peter and the Wolf" right in Riverhead.

A group of children at the Phillips Avenue Elementary School were able to broaden their artistic horizons recently.

Through a Creative Classroom Collaboratives, or C3, grant, which the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services was awarded in 2010, a group of students at the Phillips Avenue Elementary School were chosen to participate in a four-year program designed to follow them from second to fourth grade.

The C3 grant, linked to New York State and national learning standards, encourages students to dance, sing, act, write and develop artwork based on creative learning opportunities provided by special arts instructors.

The goal is to expose to students to the arts, with an eye toward expanding critical thinking and interpretive abilities, by engaging them in workshops.

The program works in partnership with the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts; every year, participating students take a trip to the Tilles Center for a special performance. 

But this year, winter storms prevented the Phillips Avenue students from attending, so the college brought the program to them -- appearing at the school for a special performance of "Peter and the Wolf."

Before the show, kids learned some basic ballet steps and were a given an introduction to the characters in the performance.

Of the program, one second grade teacher said, "It's already proving to be effective in supporting our language arts program. It's helping both the teachers and the students to become more interactive and expressive. It's helping our students with their reading, writing and listening skills and building vocabulary--both Spanish and English. Whatever they do in their workshops flows back into the classroom."

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