Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tucson: Stories that Soar! ensemble at Homer Davis Elementary



From: Lisa Gernak []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 12:03 PM
Subject: Press Release: Stories that Soar! impacts achievement at Homer Davis Elementary








Children's stories soar to life on stage thanks to a commitment from the Marshall Foundation


On Friday, February 15, 2008 at 8:30am at Homer Davis Elementary, 4250 North Romero Road, Stories that Soar! brings children's stories to life as an action-packed, imagination-fueled production.  For six years, the Homer Davis "Dragons" have been writing stories for the hungry, talking Magic Box™ and each year adult performers transform their stories into an innovative, magical performance created especially for them.

Stories that Soar! impacts education by giving children a meaningful reason to write. Through the program students experience the power of the written word beyond the confines of traditional classroom assignments.  Homer Davis Principal Bret Bonner believes, "The excitement of the students in both writing and theatre generated by Stories that Soar! and the acknowledgment students' receive through the actors' performance contributes to their motivation and achievement in  school."

The program began seven years ago as a collaboration between the University of Arizona School of Theatre Arts, Sam Hughes Elementary School and a few concerned parents advocating for more arts based programs.  After its pilot year under the guidance of Dr. Barbara McKean at UA, the program received a three year research grant from former Arizona Board of Regents member Mrs. Esther Capin.  Homer Davis was one of the four original research schools. Stories that Soar! now operates under the non-profit SharMoore Children's Productions, which emerged out of the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the UA Eller College of Management.  Homer Davis continues to be part of the Stories that Soar! 2007-2008 season, which now includes ten local elementary schools.

Diverse funding sources are sought to secure the $4,000 each show takes to produce.  Homer Davis has stayed on the Stories that Soar! roster due to a generous three year financial commitment from the Marshall Foundation of Tucson. 2008 marks the final year of the grant. Principal Brett Bonner expresses his gratitude that his school was selected for this continued partnership. "This program expands our ability to offer development to our teachers and increase the possibility that Stories that Soar! will become part of the overall fabric of an integrated arts education curriculum."

In the past three years at Homer Davis, the story submission has grown and this year is no different.  This year the Magic Box™ received just over 600 stories from the 500-student school.  Over the years the show has featured stories involving family adventures, the excitement surrounding a Tucson "snow day", a T-Rex who didn't like his sister, thirteen scary nights in a haunted house, and even non-fiction stories dealing with poverty, worries and challenging domestic issue.  This year, the students of Homer Davis can expect haunting ghosts, a visit from The Beatles, a magical accordion player, a battle between a machine and a forest, as well as many other stories from the Davis "Dragon's" imaginations.

Don't miss another illustrious performance by the Stories that Soar! ensemble on Friday, February 15, 2008 at 8:30am at Homer Davis Elementary.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦


Stories that Soar!

Lisa Gernak, Administrative Assistant

 Wilshire Drive ∙ Tucson, AZ 85711 ∙ 520. 891.6841

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