Making Books Sing’s Education Department is proud to partner with schools in District 75, the Special Education District within the New York City Department of Education. Our arts programs for students with disabilities support language and social development with a focus on emotional literacy. This blog post chronicles Making Books Sing Education Associate Sara Hunter Orr’s recent site visit to a District 75 school in Queens. MBS teaching artist Matt Mazur is currently leading a Literature at Play residency there for students with autism and other developmental disabilities.
I remember babysitting a young boy and his sister when I was in college. We were on a walk and we spotted a nest with a colony of thousands of ants. They sped up and down their small domed hill, weaving in and out of one another with carefully choreographed precision.
I recently had the chance to read through Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth’s excellent Dear Albert Einstein script. I loved the story and flew through the pages. Then I immediately found myself recollecting my own school memories and relating to Susan.
There is a funny dichotomy that happens inside a nonprofit organization. On the one hand there is this constant impulse to dream – and dream big! These groups are designed around a mission to change something or to do something important, so dreaming comes naturally. On the other hand running a nonprofit is so hard and so draining that those dreams frequently become burdens. For example,“We’ve been talking about starting a pilot program in another city for five years now and it just isn’t realistic – time to forget about it!”
My son, Clayton is eight. He’s into Club Penguin. It’s a kid’s simulation environment with Penguin avatars. Playing “Club Penguin” isn’t enough though. He and his friends also have “Club Penguin Clubs” at school. More than one! As Clay was describing to me the different variations on the clubs and who’s in which one, it reminded me of how we so naturally and instinctively want to belong. Belonging to different groups pretty much defines our lives.
There’s a new wordless book out, JOURNEY by Aaron Becker, published by Candlewick Press, that I am in love with.
As an intern at Making Books Sing, one of my tasks has been to use social media. Social media offers more than just a form of entertainment; it offers creativity and better communication with people interested in what our organization is up to. In order to better communicate with our audience and allow them to interact with our organization, I have recently begun using Pinterest to post pictures that relate to our theater productions.