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Tag Archives: Del Valle ISD

Excitement for New School Year

by Freddy Carnes, Artistic Associate

I’m very excited about this new school year! I’m leaving the Del Valle ISD and returning to the Austin ISD.  I will be teaching at three schools nearer to my home: Barrington Elementary, Wooten Elementary and Gullett Elementary. I’m particularly excited about teaching at Gullett. This is a new school for us and it is fee-based. Not only does this help bring in new revenue for our organization, but it can help bring in new Summer Camp students and supporters.

I’m also excited about my new Dell laptop. This will allow me to do video editing and expand my tools that I use with the students. I’ve already been working with the Windows Live Movie Maker software and I’m ready for the new challenge. Hopefully we’ll have a wonderful video to share with everyone later this year.

Actively Artistic in your District

by Natalie Goodnow, Artistic Associate


On Saturday, March 3, Theatre Action Project (TAP) hosted all ten Active Play Project leaders from ten campuses in Del Valle ISD and Bastrop ISD.  Artist consultant Griffon Ramsey led our team in painting several practice playground markings outside our TAP offices; our project leaders are now ready to take their own campuses by storm!  They’ve got their design proposals ready and are currently hard at work preparing their own original stencils and recruiting volunteers to help them paint out in Del Valle and Bastrop. Pictured here on the left, project leader Sophi Hopkins puts the finishing touches on a bean bag dart board.

PS: I will always love Whitney Houston’s hairstyle the best. Want to enjoy good food and support a good cause? Come to TAP’s Big Hair Country Fair on March 24th at the Salt Lick Pavilion! To buy tickets visit: TAP Big Hair. Proceeds benefit Theatre Action Project.

The Active Play Project: Getting Kids Moving

by Natalie Goodnow, Artistic Associate

Theatre Action Project’s TAP Afterschool program is partnering with the University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH), Del Valle ISD, and Bastrop ISD on an exciting adventure: The Active Play Project. The Project is designed to promote student’s enjoyment of physical activity and get them to participate in it during recess time and other break times during the school day. To do this the Project will enhance a school’s physical areas with playground designs. The markings are also intended to appeal to teachers to help the reinforce core academic content and encourage teachers to incorporate activity breaks during the day. Read the rest of this entry

In defense of chaos, Or why we need to make a mess

by Lindsay Palmer, Teaching Artist, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary School, Del Valle ISD

So here’s the thing about creativity…it’s messy! Oh how many times have I had the experience of a visitor walking in my class room mid-art production and seen the not so subtle look of horror on their faces at catching the chaotic mess that is 15 first graders’ whose puppets are still in progress. Or drums, or costumes, or movie sets, or paintings. Yes, I know this room looks a mess but I promise there is genius underneath all of those pipe cleaners. You see it takes a mess to make greatness in my classroom. Creativity requires a certain freedom. This is the kind of freedom that kids are rarely allowed during their regular school day. I believe learning should always be a hands-on, nitty-gritty process, and in art it is essential. Once that first messy art project is underway, it sets the tone for who I am as a teacher and what this class will be like. I am the teacher that allows a little crazy. I know this is scary because one kind of crazy can lead to another, and I have experienced that. And yes, my classroom gets a little loud too. Finding balance between keeping some order, and maintaining authority in the room, while simultaneously easing up on their normal school day rules in order to foster creativity, is a tricky line to walk. Read the rest of this entry

Excitement for School

by Sarah Rinner, Elementary School Program Director

It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down and the new school year is just around the corner.  As we close out the summer with our last camp next week, Songs for the Stage, the Theatre Action Project Afterschool Team is already busy preparing for the 2011-2012 school year.

Read the rest of this entry

Wrapping Up the School Year in Del Valle

by Natalie Goodnow, Artistic Associate
This May, we concluded our first year of after-school programming in Del Valle ISD. We are so pleased and so proud of our collaboration with the new ACE (Afterschool Centers on Education) programs in the district!

I have the great pleasure of working with our Del Valle elementary school campuses and teaching artists as a team lead; here are some of the highlights we saw as students and Teaching Artists (“TA’s”) shared their work with their communities this spring.

Hillcrest Elementary
TA’s Peter Mendoza and Claire Augustine’s students shared poems and visions of peace at Poetry for Peace Night.

Baty Elementary
With TA’s Irina Kaplan and Jean Claude Lessou, students wowed parents with a super scary zombie dance!

Popham Elementary
Students exploring stories with TA’s Ben Schave and Diana Leon in our Storybook Theatre curriculum shared artwork, original scenes, and favorite games with their families and friends.

Smith Elementary
One of Lillie Hollingsworth’s (TA) classes showed a trailer for their original movie, “Zombie Girl,” and the other two performed their original play “Kai the Lion,” about a lion with a blue mane who isn’t accepted because his friends because he’s different. Keep an eye out for Lillie’s film about the class!

Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary
TA Stephanie Chavez’ younger students performed a narrative pantomime based on the book “Super Cilantro Girl” (one of my favorite stories!), her older students performed their very own play, as did Lucy Miller-Downing’s (TA) fabulous 2nd and 3rd graders, all Hollywood-bound! TA Frank Nappi’s classes shared some of the stories they’ve read and masks and costumes they’ve created this year.

Del Valle Elementary
A TAPstravaganza! One of TA Mitch Bowman’s classes of students displayed their artwork in their very own gallery, including a sound and light installation. Another class gave a drum performance, while the other two showed fantastic films. One of Lillie Hollingsworth’s classes also showed two films, and the other shared three dances – all created by the students!

Creedmoor Elementary
Lindsay Palmer’s (TA) students shared their original puppet creations, and Kate Shaw’s (TA) saw the debut of their original play. At the end of the event, several students took the microphone to talk about the ACE program; one said,

“Thank you so much for having this program. We learned so many things we never learned before. This is the most fun I ever had in my whole life!”

Wow, can you believe all the things we created in Del Valle this year! And that’s just in one of the six area public school districts we work with! And now, we’re already beginning our summer program. I can’t wait to see what our students and Teaching Artists cook up next! Are you a TAP student, teacher, parent, or principal at Del Valle? Let me know how your year went. I’d love to chat with you and get your perspective on the year.