Mill Mountain Theatre's production of Aesop's Fables, adapted for stage by Director of Education, Anna Kimmell, connected the arts to literacy through a new partnership with Star City Reads and the Roanoke Public Libraries.
Literacy is a current and critical issue in Roanoke, Virginia. Several public elementary schools last year failed to achieve accreditation standards because of weak student reading skills and low scores on standardized tests. The recent influx of immigrants to our community has added to the need for programs that effectively teach English as a second written and spoken language for hundreds of people in multi-generational families.
Addressing these local concerns, every child who attended Aesop's Fables went home with a free book,extending the experience far beyond the theatre for 225 children. Mill Mountain Theatre also developed a show-specific study guide, enabling teachers, parents and other non-profit organizations to continue language-based activities and discussion at home or in the classroom.
MMT has planned the next two years of its outreach services to connect theatre arts with literacy for children, and looks forward to a continued partnership with Star City Reads and the Roanoke Public Libraries.