Our Mission Statement:
The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre Education Department aims to help students of all ages improve their reading skills, gain confidence, and better express themselves through our literacy-through-performance pedagogical model. Additionally, teachers learn to incorporate this dynamic model into their ongoing classroom work. As a result, students become more informed and empathetic thinkers with a deeper understanding of their relationship to society and the world.
Gamm In the Schools
Pawtucket Literacy and Arts for Youth (PLAY)
PLAY is The Gamm’s response to a growing demand for supplementary arts and literacy education in its home city’s elementary, middle and high schools. The program includes in-school residencies, artist/teacher partnerships and after-school drama programs under the direction of Gamm Education Director Steve Kidd. Supported by federal and local government agencies, foundations and businesses, PLAY is free of charge to participating schools.
Teaching Artists and Actor, Aaron Rossini discusses the role of Juliet with a student at Nathanael Greene Middle School
PLAY In-School Residencies
Each 10-week residency is designed to first and foremost help students learn to read and learn to love to read through performance strategies and techniques. This is done by building community in the classroom, and establishing a safe space where students can share, take risks and engage kinesthetically with specific texts from the curriculum. Students explore stories, novels and plays by acting out scenes and writing personal responses to characters, themes and situations. These exercises and strategies, which promote connection to and understanding of text, culminate in final performances that are shared with students' peers, family and friends. The entire in-class rehearsal and performance process fosters a variety of oral language and fluency skills that form the foundation of literacy, language acquisition and comprehension. PLAY also promotes community in the classroom, leadership skills, bullying prevention, teamwork and self confidence.
Teachers may request a one-time visit from a Gamm teaching artists to enhance their lesson or to reinvigorate their classroom. Each hour-long workshop is designed to support the needs of the classroom, whether to promote a stronger social and emotional learning environment through community building activities or to engage students further in texts through kinesthetic exercises and personal reflection.
PLAY works with Pawtucket’s public elementary-, middle- and high-school teachers at the administration’s request to help transfer strategies and techniques of PLAY learning and lesson planning.
Education Director, Steve Kidd, directs a student as part of the after-school program.
Through a partnership with Pawtucket School Department Child Opportunity Zone (COZ), The Gamm is able to offer eight after-school literacy intervention sessions each trimester in the city's elementary and middle schools. Using the same 10-week model as the in-school residencies, these after school programs culminate in a final performance for the community. After-school sessions focus on literacy learning, and fostering student engagement by establishing a space where students feel free to share, take risks and engage kinesthetically with specific texts from classroom curriculum.