Lincoln Middle School is looking for a new way to prevent bullying. A $12,374 grant given to Millersville University: South Central PaARTners from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) makes this possible. Millersville’s Barry Kornhauser, director of the Millersville’s Family Arts Collaborative and Lancaster-based book artist Mimi Shapiro will conduct a multi-disciplinary residency program at the middle school that uses photography, book arts and theater to facilitate an in-depth exploration of the topic of bullying.
The residency will begin on November 11 and run through April 2014.
The artists will be working with students for a combined total of 60 days. “I think one of the best ways to reduce bullying behaviors is to build empathy skills, and the arts, particularly theater, help do that very well,” said Kornhauser.
Students will begin by taking photographs that reflect their experience and understanding of bullying. Working with Shapiro, the students will use the photographs to create individual books, as well as a single collaborative book. Kornhauser will then assist with turning the collaborative book into a dramatic presentation, teaching the students to work “from page to stage.”
Under the guidance of social work professors Dr. Karen Rice and Dr. Heather Girvin, MU social work students will conduct an assessment of the program’s impact on the Lincoln Middle School students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding bullying.
“We’re grateful to have received this grant. It gives the students at Lincoln Middle School access to a transformational artistic experience that the traditional classroom cannot provide. The assessment component will yield invaluable information regarding the impact the arts have on student learning and lives. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for MU social work students to gain important hands-on experience collecting and assessing data.” said Ty Clever, arts in education coordinator at Millersville University and director of South Central PaARTners.
Through its partnership with the PCA, Millersville University: South Central PaARTners provides quality arts experiences in the form of artist residencies to schools and nonprofit service agencies.
PCA is a state agency under the governor’s office. Its mission is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania, and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.