Off the Page Brings Arts Programs Back to Public Schools with Funding from Crowdfunding Site HelpersUnite.com
Off The Page from Jody Alperin on Vimeo.
Off the Page’s mission is to address the ever-tightening noose on arts programming in public schools and demonstrate that there is a need for theatre arts as part of an integrated approach to learning. “Our goal is to show that creating active and kinesthetic connections to the material engages the students, increases subject recall and helps level the playing field for all types of learners,” say the co-founders of Off The Page, Jody Drezner Alperin and Vicky Finney Crouch.
The Brooklyn-based organization piloted their program last year in a mixed social studies class of General and Special Education students with great success. Instead of the students being the passive recipients of knowledge, Off the Page fostered a creative environment in which they experienced historical events through role playing and other forms of theatre arts. By making the material more accessible, students in turn had a greater ability to recall the lessons. Furthermore, this teaching method accommodated students with diverse learning styles and abilities: Off the Page found that students who were often reluctant participants and who struggled in traditional lessons were eager to volunteer and felt bolstered by their participation and success.
Despite the program’s overwhelming support from students, parents and teachers who are eager to continue the program this year, school budgets continue to shrink and are unable to accommodate these types of programs. After having donated time, services and materials to the school during the pilot year, Off the Page has launched a campaign on HelpersUnite.com to fund this distinctive program’s ongoing efforts and to expand into other school systems.
According to HelpersUnite CEO, Luan Cox, “Off the Page is exactly the type of business project we love to support. The work is important for our children and our community. In addition, we think it is outstanding that they have chosen to donate a portion of the money they raise to Donors Choose Inc.”
HelpersUnite.com is the first-ever platform to combine fundraising for creative and business ventures with charitable giving and online event ticketing. It is the flagship platform of GoodWorldCreations, which was founded in early 2011 and specializes in leveraging complex, state-of-the art web and social technology to help make the world a better place.
For more information, visit http://www.HelpersUnite.com.
BONUS: The Guardian’s Theatre Blog is talking about cuts to arts education and generation of young English students who aren’t being given access to the arts. Check it out.