Warren schools give update on Kennedy-Center arts program


Staff report

WARREN

The schools superintendent and others provided an update Tuesday on Any Given Child, the Warren school district’s Kennedy Center For the Performing Arts-created program to improve arts education. The center is in Washington, D.C.

Any Given Child uses existing arts programs and works with area arts organizations, Warren Superintendent Steve Chiaro said during the presentation at the Lincoln Pre-kindergarten to Grade-8 school.

U.S. Rep Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, who has participated directly in programs in the school district, said Any Given Child brings joy to children and helps them deal with challenges.

Ryan said what he likes about Any Given Child is that it allows children to explore what makes them unique.

In the arts, “they walk their own path and go through their own door and have their own interest.”

He said: “Certain things excite them that may not excite me or may not excite you. And when you cut out our music and dance and theater, you’re cutting out a kid’s opportunity to thrive.”

Ryan said the arts have also been shown to help kids who have challenges in their home life.

“You see so many kids in our schools who are dealing with violent home, violent community,” he said.

“We all know what these kids are dealing with, the opiate epidemic. To have art available as an outlet is essential.”

Chiaro listed some activities that have been done as part of Any Given Child since implementation began at the start of the 2016-17 school year:

404 kindergarten students saw an Easy Street Productions performance in Youngstown in December.

376 first-graders saw a Packard Music Hall Christmas concert in December.

419 third-graders saw the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra in November.

392 fourth-graders were engaged in the Butler Arts Program in 2017 and this year. In December, 386 sixth-grade students participated in the Butler project.

307 seventh-grade students and 340 eighth-graders saw a performance of Warren G. Harding High School madrigals and saw Dennis Drummond, the Harding graduate who participated in NBC’s “The Voice.”

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