Durban Students Get the Red Carpet Treatment!

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Students at the Durban Avenue School completed this unique learning opportunity thanks to a $100,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Education.   Students in the S + M (ART) = S2  Program, (Student Motivation through the Arts/ Reasoning and Technology for Sustainable Success) were able to celebrate their achievements by sharing their infomercials with family and friends at a movie premiere held at the Durban Avenue School.  With help from teachers and guest speakers, students were able to create infomercials using geometry, language arts literacy, and newly acquired arts skills through the  S + M (ART) = S2   program. The new arts integration studio located at Durban was  an essential component in fusing all of the ideas, hard work, recording, and editing for the group presentations.


Families, friends, teachers, board members, and administrators cheered as students walked down the red carpet! During the event, guests were able to view each group’s infomercial on the big screen.  Achievement Awards were presented to each student group based on specific criteria in the productions.  Light refreshments were served and family photo shoots were offered to the guests to commemorate the students accomplishments.  At the end of the evening, themed frames were given to each family so they can display their picture from the event as a keepsake.


The S + M (ART) = S2  Program at Durban has been a rewarding opportunity for staff and students as they achieved learning by getting the best of both worlds, academics and the arts.The focus of the grant was to improve writing and math skills, specifically geometry and measurement through the use of the Arts.  Art teachers and subject areas teachers worked together to plan lessons that focused on language arts, math and performing arts standards.  Students were taught acting skills and then wrote their own infomercials which promoted a certain product that the students created.  Students also designed their own packaging for the product.  The skits reflected what they learned about acting and also incorporated geometry skills.  


At the Red Carpet Premier, Acting Superintendent, Joanne Mullane and Durban Avenue School Principal, Tracey Hensz praised the project teachers and leadership team for an outstanding job and parents got to see all the infomercials that were recorded in the Durban Avenue School’s  new recording studio. Parents were also given a tour of this new state of the art recording studio that was able to be built as a result of the $100,000.00 grant from the Department of Education.  The entire student body will reap the benefits of this new studio next year as all students will rotate through the studio and learn the ins and outs of video production.  The program began as an after school program which met twice a week and then extended during the summer.  Students also came on Saturdays to see two plays, School of Rock in NYC and Lion King at the Brundage Playhouse Theater in Randolph. Over 120 people attended the Red Carpet Premier.


Please find a link to our website by either visiting the Durban Avenue or district website or just go directly to the site by clicking this link


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