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It's not all Greek to me

Following My Muse
Robert T. Nanninga
Surf City Times
April 5, 2003


Every now and then things fall into place so effortlessly it's hard to believe fate is not having it's way with you. It could be a relationship, an opportunity, a job, or even a prime parking space, whatever the case, when such good fortune visits one should acknowledge the favor bestowed in order to encourage its continuation. Athena the goddess of art and industry has been very, very, good to me.

Late last year I was asked to work with Class Act, an arts education program, administered by the folksy Niels Lund. When I signed on to help 5th graders create a performance about the early exploration from Magellan to Lewis and Clark, in the fall, I hardly saw myself balancing 6th grade Greek theater, high school playwriting, creative dramatics, and folk tales for fourth graders come spring.

Talk about multi-tasking.

Class Act is an impressive program that brings artists into the classroom to assist with curriculum enhancement. Students have access to dance, art, music, and theatre, and performers get a chance to share their craft with inquisitive young minds. Four sessions in, and I are already seeing kids bloom and young stars being born. Of course there are the kids who can't be bothered, and those too hyper to focus. Thankfully, I mastered the art of hyperactivity long ago. I fit right in.

Community members, including Parent Teacher associations, civic groups, municipal grants, and state funding directed at creative learning environments, sponsor the Class Act arts program. Rotarians are helping to fund Greek Myth plays at Ocean Knoll Elementary and drug awareness money is helping to fund Class Act involvement at the San Diequito Academy. The City of Encinitas contributes considerably to the program as well.

Suffice it to say I am enjoying playing the role of the Pied Piper of Performance for the youth of Encinitas. By introducing students to dramatic possibilities, I am allowed to contribute in ways not available to most performers. By mentoring students I am paying tribute to those teachers who had the patience and stamina to promote "Bobness" both on and off stage. And with education budgets being slashed, Athena would be the first to use her skills promote the arts education as a cultural roadmap.

Class Act is designed to help teachers teach and students learn. To bring Class Act to a school near you call 760.436.3729 or drop Niels a note at nlund@pacbell.net

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