In April 2 Issue
Young children love to be creative and work with their hands.
Around 100 third and fourth grade students at Salem Elementary School recently got to do both at a puppet construction workshop presented by The Center for Rural Development and professional puppeteers from the Wood and Strings Theatre late last month.
These students put their creative skills to the test making hand-crafted puppets in a fun and educational workshop brought to four Salem elementary classes by The Center's Arts Outreach Program through grant funding from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council.
South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization working to make a positive difference in the arts throughout the South, also provided funding support for a School Time Theatre performance of the Wood and Strings Theatre production, "Out of the Mist … A Dragon," presented on March 11 at The Center.
"One of The Center's four focus areas is arts and culture, and we wanted to give students within our service region a chance to be creative and design their own puppets," Dianna Winstead, associate director of arts, culture and events for The Center, said. "This activity was fun and tied closely to the arts education curriculum providing hands-on instruction in the art of puppet making taught by professional puppeteers."
The puppeteers behind the creative talents of "Out of the Mist … A Dragon" production, which uses elegant reproductions of the classic adult-size Bunraku puppets of Japan, helped the local students build their own puppets on a much smaller scale. The activity was a unique learning experience for all students, according to Salem fourth grade teacher Sandy Stearns.
"The students were exposed to content vocabulary in the arts and the hands-on experience helped bring that vocabulary to life," she said. "The students had a wonderful time and were very engaged in this activity."
Students in the third grade classes of Teresa Meyer and Penny Lester and in Bethany Baird's fourth grade class also participated in the workshop.
Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 42-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.