View Full Version : Manhattan-Downtown After-School Arts Education Gives Lower East Side Students a Lift Academically

01-03-2011, 10:03 AM
This from the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/nyregion/28neediest.html) by Simone Sebastian:
Ten-year-old Destiny Howard swaggers onstage, flinging her arms overhead in exaggerated disgust.

“Hey!” she snips at the audience. “I still want my money!”

Her made-up New York accent and oversize attitude send the crowd into another chorus of laughter. It is the school musical’s final scene, and Destiny’s comedic act as the swindler D. Lite scored the last lines of the script.

Last school year, Destiny struggled just to read a script out loud, said Karina Lynch, who organizes the annual show. Problems with literacy and pronunciation stunted Destiny’s academic progress at Public School 142 on the Lower East Side.

Two musicals later, she is stealing the show and reading at grade level, Ms. Lynch said.

“I feel like I belong here,” said Destiny, taking a break from dance rehearsal. “They helped me make my life better.”

The Educational Alliance After 3 Arts Program (http://www.edalliance.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=PS142afterschool&category=AfterSchool&submenu=AfterSchool) has gained a reputation for discovering hidden talent at P.S. 142. Shy children dance center stage. Students with learning delays earn leading roles.

One student who repeated a grade and struggled to learn English became valedictorian after joining the arts program, school officials said.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/nyregion/28neediest.html)