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In a massive 364 page ruling issued last week, Texas District Court Judge John K. Dietz ruled that the Texas education finance system:

  1. is structured in such a way that it cannot provide an adequate education for all students;

  2. does not provide the "general diffusion of knowledge" called for by the state constitution;

  3. denies all children equal access to the funding necessary for a "general diffusion of knowledge;"

  4. limits the ability of local school districts to raise sufficient funds and, in essence, establishes a state property tax that is prohibited by the Texas constitution.

The Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition v. Williams

The Court had issued a ruling last year holding that the state education finance system was unconstitutional, but  after the state legislature voted to increase education funding at its last session, the judge scheduled additional hearings to determine if the new legislation had brought the system into constitutional compliance. The court's analysis of all aspects of the Texas finance system as set forth in his detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law determined that the recent increases had not substantially rectified the deep-rooted constitutional violations.

In its exhaustive analysis of all aspects of the state's finance system, the court found that although the state had substantially raised its academic standards, it made no effort to provide the extra resources students would need to meet those standards, or to update its formulae and cost analyses to determine what level of resources would be necessary.  Judge Dietz also found that the growing population of English language learner and low income students are not receiving the extra "wrap around services" such as quality pre-K programs, extra learning time, counseling and parent engagement that they need to obtain a "general diffusion of knowledge," and that the state was not providing sufficient funds to recruit a quality teaching staff, provide reasonable class sizes, and ensure necessary supplies, equipment and adequate facilities. He rejected arguments by Defendants' experts Rick Hanushek and Michael Podgursky regarding a lack of correlation between extra spending and school performance and defendants allegations of wasteful spending by certain school districts.

The Court's remedy was dramatic: it has enjoined any spending through the current state education finance system effective July 1, 2015, until the state corrects the constitutional violations described in the opinion. The court also awarded substantial attorneys' fees to plaintiffs' attorneys and retained jurisdiction to oversee compliance.

By

He came out at 18, shortly after becoming an undergraduate at Emory University.

Four years later, Bergeleen credits Emory's welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students as a key factor not only in his discovering his own identity, but in going on to graduate from the business school this year.

Universities are, in fact, welcoming the growing number of arriving students who feel comfortable being out as gay or transgender. But to them, it's not just a response to a fast-moving social movement. It's a business decision.

"It comes down to the bottom line," said Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, one of the nation's early on-campus support centers for LGBT students.

"It's a competitive advantage," Beemyn said. "If you want to attract the best and brightest students, you don't want competitors to get a leg up."

A growing number of campuses are launching programs to attract and hold onto LGBT students, including college fairs aimed at LGBT applicants, LGBT student-support offices, special graduation ceremonies, and housing and healthcare for transgender students.

During his time at Emory, Bergeleen led gay student groups on campus and worked in the admissions office. Both activities led him to discover "a great demand" among LGBT students for assurances that the colleges and universities they are considering attending will support their identities, he said.

The median age that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults say they came out is 20, exactly when they're college age, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. And with 92 percent of those polled saying that society has gotten more accepting of them in the last decade, LGBT students are becoming more visible at the same time overall enrollment is flattening out.

To recruit and keep them, many campuses are opening LGBT student centers, or dedicating full-time staff to those they already had.

There are about 400 such centers nationwide, said Ronni Sanlo, a founding chair of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, and while there's no data on the year-over-year increase, Sanlo said that they have even started popping up in the 29 states whose discrimination laws don't mention sexual orientation and gender identity. Sanlo spoke in Kentucky in the spring, for example, and discovered three new centers on campuses there.

Colleges and universities are also putting more resources into LGBT student centers, including by hiring full-time employees to direct them. At Kennesaw State University's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and Questioning Student Retention Services Office and Resource Center, director Jessica Duvall said she has seen the annual number of visits rise from 158 in 2012, when she was hired, to 494 last year. She has launched programs such as an annual gay history exhibit and a "rainbow graduation ceremony."

"What is happening now [with LGBT students] is what happened with minorities," said Jerome Ratchford, vice president for student success at Kennesaw, who was hired 26 years ago to help recruit black students.

Ratchford said a "critical mass of gay students came on campus and organized" in recent years. Administrators determined that, "if they met the needs of these students, the students [would] have a higher probability of being successful." That would "change the culture" of the school, and lead to more LGBT students choosing it, he said.

One tool that has helped LGBT students choose schools is the Campus Pride Index. The index rates campuses on a scale of one to five stars based on a voluntary survey of more than 50 questions ranging from, "Does your campus offer health insurance coverage to employees' same-sex partners?" to "Does your campus have a LGBT alumni group?"

More than 400 campuses have now taken the survey, an uptick of 35 percent in the last two years, said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, the organization that oversees the index. Campus Pride also holds college fairs, and plans to host its first online college fair next year.

"Campuses today want to be called gay friendly," Windmeyer said. "They see they're going to lose students if they're not, [and] realize the pool of non-LGBT students is dwindling."

At the same time, Windmeyer said one of the obstacles in continuing to attract and, especially, retain LGBT students is the delicate issue of knowing who they are. It was only three years ago that Elmhurst College in Illinois became the first institution to ask students about their sexual orientation on its admissions application. Since then, only a handful of other schools have followed suit. The University of Iowa and MIT include an optional question about sexual orientation, and Duke has now said it will invite students to disclose their sexual orientation in an application essay if they choose.

"Recruitment starts by learning about a population and what their interests are," said Gary Rold, dean of admissions at Elmhurst. Before asking the question, Rold said, "We didn't know much about this population."

One thing Elmhurst has learned is that about half of the college's incoming students who identify as LGBT are also black or Hispanic, compared with about a third of the general student population. This means the LGBT students at his campus are more likely to be first-generation college students, Rold said -- an important factor when it comes to helping them to stay in school.

Experiences like Rold's at Elmhurst are why campuses can't just aim for a five-star rating in his college guide, said Windmeyer. They also have to learn who their gay and lesbian students are, and what they need, though he also said it was unlikely that questions about sexual identity will be added to the Common Application form because of sensitivity from, among others, religious colleges. The Common Application already turned down the idea once, in 2011.

"You can't do it in a bubble," he said, "without having a way to track who they are."

Meanwhile, more schools seem to be following the approach at Elmhurst, which Rold described as, "not an advertising campaign, and not a political agenda... [Instead,] we're more conscious of sending out a subtle welcome mat."

Reprinted from Time on September 3rd, 2014 

Attention students attending high school in New York City or Westchester County*:

You've been nominated to enter the Con Edison Get Out the Vote Video Contest. The freedom to vote is the hallmark of our democracy. It is both a privilege and a civic duty.

Show us why voting is important to you or someone in your life in an original video. Just shoot and upload a video that delivers the message in 90 seconds or less. Entries will be evaluated on their artistic quality and how well and creatively they illustrate the contest's message.

The first place winner scores an Apple gift card worth $1,000. Second- and third-place winners finish with Apple gift cards worth $500 and $250, respectively.

Every voice counts. You don't have to wait until you turn 18 to use yours.

For the contest rules and guidelines for video submissions, visit the rules page.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Judges:
Scott Warren, Co-founder and Executive Director, Generation Citizen
Sean Gallagher, In-house Editor, Jacob Burns Film Center
Carl Goodman, Executive Director, Museum of the Moving Image
John Banks, Vice President of Government Relations, Con Edison
Ann Cameron, Director of Creative Services, Con Edison

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VIEW ENTRIES HERE!

HOW TO ENTER
You and, if you are under 18 years of age at the time of entry, your parent or legal guardian should read the Guidelines for Get Out the Vote Video Submissions, and the Eligibility, Requirements and Other Contest Rules. If you are over 18 years of age at the time of entry, complete and electronically submit the online entry form. If you are under 18 years of age, have your parent or legal guardian complete and electronically submit the online entry form and the parental consent on the entry form. Your executed entry form (including the executed parental consent if you are under 18 years of age) and your video submission must be received by Con Edison by 12:00 am ET on October 11, 2014. Upload your video submission to this website, conedison.votigo.com.

Waiting for Godot at Barrow St Theater

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For a compelling evening at the theater attend the opening of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" in Yiddish at the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street, on Thursday September 4 at 7:30pm.

Still floating from their triumph at the Beckett Festival in Northern Ireland, the New Yiddish Rep troupe continues its unlikely journey, which started a year ago at the multicultural Castillo Theatre. Now the production is set to open the 7th annual Origin's 1st Irish Festival where it runs in competition at the Barrow Street Theatre thru September 21.

Many of us who have toiled in the trenches to keep the flame of Yiddish culture burning, are immensely gratified by the enthusiasm this groundbreaking production is sparking across a spectrum of groups.  Lovers of modern theatre, of Beckett, of Yiddish, and students of WW II and the Holocaust have been galvanized.  In many ways the audience gravitating to this production couldn't be more diverse.

That's the way New Yiddish Rep always wants it, as it dedicates itself to producing theatre of quality and consequence for a wide audience... in yiddish!

Yes we can have a meaningful impact on the broader contemporary culture.  And yes, Yiddish, which has astounded so many for its refusal to fade away, is poised to amaze anew. #

Middle School Issues

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By Dr. Ann Mulvey

The Middle School years are very demanding for parents and educators alike. The junior high period are the years when curiosity, social awareness and emotionality of adolescences develop. For some students, especially girls, these years can be a trial for them to fit into the social milieu. Seemingly simply inclusions such as invitations to birthday parties may mean everything to many of these students.  I have seen rejection by girls to birthday parties develop into deep depression for that teenager.

For both boys and girls maturity may compete with body image and self-concept (Wolman, 1998).  For girls, it is a period of intense sensitivity and adjustment. For boys, it may be a time of teasing and limited self-concept. Boys want to excel academically and athletically to maintain self-concept.  It is really a time for "students to figure out who they are."

During these years, to get attention, bullying can be a serious problem for parents and educators. The bully often has issues that need to be addressed. In my experience, the bully feels lonely with "no one who cares." On the other-hand, the victim must be given time to discuss the situation and be part of the action plan. The most difficult times for the victim are usually the less structured periods of the school day.  This situation occurs because students are given more freedom of choice during recess, hall movement, lunch and perhaps specials. The aftermath of childhood bullying can stay with an individual for a devastatingly long time. Jose Bolton underscores that because of shame and embarrassment, bully victims feel overwhelmed and debilitated and many never forget the physical and emotional pain of being abused.  

As educators, a definite course of action must be followed to assist the bullying victim. At lunch, when a group isolates the student, it might be well for the administrator to have her/his lunch with the group including the victim. Food time may work miracles! The adult may steer the conversation and diffuse some of the anti-social behavior. The risk behavior of adolescents is often a consequence of adolescent's personal search for identity, according to Brown.

Research supports the belief that students must feel the sense of belonging and excitement in order to reach academic potential. Kevorkian points out that peer-rejection may have serious side effects such as low self-esteem and depression.  Peer-rejection may lead to dropping out of school, juvenile delinquency and/or mental health issues.  

Middle school students need parental help to choose friends with similar interest.  Praise and encouragement by parents and educators will help to develop the best assets for each child. This developmental period may be an exciting time for adults and students. It does not have to be the age of strife, "drama" and negativity". Adults need to be role models and always willing to listen to youngsters. Adults must remember they once had the same concerns, issues and possible "drama outburst". Adults survived this stage and so will our students.#

Ann Mulvey is a professor at Touro College.

Several excellent resources for parents and educators are: Wolman, B.B. (1998) Adolescences: Biological and Psychological Perspectives; Bolton, Jose (2005): No Rule for Bullies; Brown, B. B. (1990): Peer Groups and Peer Cultures; Kevorkian, Meline (2006): Preventing Bullying, Helping Form Positive Relationships. 

Pine Street School Opens Doors to Pre-K

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By Joan Baum, Ph.D.

Lower Manhattan has a new pre-K-elementary school, one with an unusual curriculum and high hopes for success. Its founder, Dr. Jennifer Jones, uses the term "marriage" to describe its mission, content and structure - a merger of two concepts that until now, with the establishment of the new school, Pine Street, at 40 Wall Street, have been joined together at only one other school in the country (The Whitby School in Greenwich, CT). The idea is to bring together Monessori principles, practices and procedures with International Baccalaureate (IB) programs as early as Pre-K.  The result is what Jones calls a "Montessori-infused International Baccalaureate program," the first of its kind in Manhattan. The IB method, she says, encourages children to think and act like professionals in various disciplines, engaging in problem solving and problem posing This fall, the school opened with approximately 40-50 preschool and early elementary school students. Grade six will start in 2015, and each year after another grade will be added, with Pine Street eventually covering high school. Jones describes the marriage as "unique" and "challenging," an inquiry-based curriculum" with an optional Spanish immersion component.

Jones, who is the founder of Green Ivy Schools, a network of private schools based in lower Manhattan, is a longtime education consultant nationally and internationally on school development, management, strategic planning and fundraising. She says that the Pine Street School is "a breath of fresh air educationally, experientially and architecturally." For sure, viewers who go online will see a knockout design of 85,000 square feet (designed by Perkins Eastman), with floor-to-ceiling windows, moveable walls, multipurpose studios and a dedicated performance space with state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting, including project rooms and workshop areas that can also accommodate culinary, scientific and artistic programming. Even the hallways and stairwells can also serve as a "potential learning space." The Pine Street School is the second of the Green Ivy network (a Battery Park Montessori preschool opened last year in Lower Manhattan).

Why Lower Manhattan?  Jones points out that there is a wait list for the public schools in the area because of a population explosion of young people moving in (The Pine Street School is a station away from Brooklyn). Herself the mother of a five-year-old, she felt immediately the effect of closed schools but also a "responsibility" to do something for parents of young children.  Not just responsibility, but "fierce passion" to ensure that kids got to go to neighborhood schools, reflecting the values of the area and enhancing them by their presence.  Down the road, she says, Green Ivy schools will be more accessible to changing populations, but for now, her imagination and energy have been fired not to waste time. The marriage consists of integrating intimate, nurturing, internally directed Montessori ideas with IB focus on global and wide cultural issues and have children realize their potential by merging cognitive and social learning. The IB curriculum begins with three year olds and is referred to as PYP (Primary Year Program), with MYP for the middle year and eventually DYP, a Diploma Year Program for the high schools.

The staff of course is the number-one consideration. Jones auditions teachers - "watching them with kids, you can tell who's got it, the children tell you." Eileen Baker, Head of School at Pine Street, has 30 years of experience not only in teaching and directing education programs in this country but with IB programs in Turkey, Angola and Indonesia. As of this fall, entering students, as young as two years old, can attend a half day session (9-12 or 1-4) or go from 9-3, which includes lunch and , after school activities, such as martial arts, cooking, theatre. For those who elect Spanish immersion, approximately 50% of their day will be conducted in that language (eventually other languages will be added to the curriculum).

Jones is understandably excited about opening a school that will encourage "kids to flower, help them be what they're meant to be," and not what they're told they must or should be." That means that they start thinking like professionals in their early grades, and developing a love, a passion for what they study. "You have to work really hard to make learning boring," she laughs. No way, she feels confident, could this happen at Pine Street. About 80-90% of those who learned about the school did so by word of mouth, but Jones invites readers to go to www.greenivy.com. She estimates that the cost of attending Pine Street is $30.000 a year.#

What Did You Do This Summer

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A Productive Summer

By Annie Nova

My three-month long summer vacation was really not much of a vacation. I worked at The Writing Center at Hunter College, planning the 2014-2015 program of writing courses and speaking events by authors. As a reporter for Education Update I got to attend a host of exciting events - and even better - I got to write about them. I also took a five-week poetry workshop where I wrote until my fingers wanted to fall off and met some amazingly talented people. I hit the keyboard more than the beach and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Infinite Possibilities of Summer

By Hye-Jin Yun

As a student committed to rigorous science studies throughout the academic year, I am excited to use summer as an opportunity to explore my other interests. My past summer adventures have included: studying abroad at King's College London during the 2012 Olympics Game; interning at NY1 News and Barnard College's Office of Communications; and serving as a chemistry tutor for the Higher Education Opportunity Program. Each of these experiences allowed me to interact with a diverse group of people, hone my communications and leadership skills, and gain insight into various industries.  

This summer, I am about to embark on another great adventure. I have recently been selected as one of ten juniors at Barnard College to participate in The Athena Summer Fellowship Program. Through this ten-week program, I will engage in a self-selected internship as well as in education events aimed at building leadership skills. For the internship component of this program, I have decided to work at Bellevue Hospital Center's Department of Social Work in Psychiatry, where I will be serving patients with medical and psychiatric disorders. I also hope to continue pursuing my passion for broadcasting and media through assisting an Associate Producer for PBS with a television project related to health. I have found most of internship opportunities for this summer through my college or people I know. I am looking forward to being a proactive intern and making the most out of all my experiences.#

Hye-Jin Yun is a Neuroscience & Behavior major at Barnard College and the Student Government Junior Class Secretary and the Vice President of Programming, Columbia University Television at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Hava Tequilla Nights
Honoring a tradition in Jewish entertainment  with a new twist.

The lights dim, a few jokes are shared and young people groove to some of the hottest young musical acts from New York, Israel and Europe. This is Hava Tequila Nights, a reinvention of the Borscht Belt floor show for 21st Century Young Jewish Professionals. At The Triad Theater - 158 W 72nd St, New York, NY, For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com

A Night with Vanessa Hidary and Shlomit Levi, October 22, 2014 at 9 PM, The Triad Theater - 158 W 72nd St, New York, NY. For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com Vanessa Hidary AKA The Hebrew Mamita, the hip hop inspired spoken word artist and star of HBO's "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry  Jam"" is joined by Shlomit, one of Israel's finest vocalists together with RebbeSoul, the pioneering Jewish Roots musician who presents infectious grooves in a unique blend of world music with a distinct Yemenite spice.

A Night with Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson, November 6, 2014 at 9 PM, The Triad Theater - 158 W 72nd St, New York, NY, For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com

Neshama Carlebach: a leading superstar in Jewish Entertainment, Neshama is continuing the legacy established by her father Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. His deep spirituality and love of all humanity filled every song he wrote and touched every person he encountered as he changed the face of Jewish music. Like her father, Neshama's talent and charisma captivate and endear her to people of all ages and backgrounds as she sings her father's incomparable melodies, and inspiring original compositions.

Josh Nelson: One of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish music, Josh brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe. He is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps and communities around the world.

A Night with Mira Stroika, December 10, 2014 at 9 PM
The Triad Theater - 158 W 72nd St, New York, NY
For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com

"Take two cups of Edith Piaf, one half cup of Eartha Kitt, a sprinkle of Betty Boop plus a serious portion of that je ne sais quoi that enthralls audiences and you have what I see as one of New York's most exciting new cabaret singers: Mira Stroika."   

- The Huffington Post

Pop cabaret artist Mira Stroika is joined by her rock band for an evening of lively and wildly entertaining music that fuses European cabaret traditions, punk and classical influences re-imagined into a fresh new sound.  

A Night with Golem, June 17, 2015 at 9 PM, At Joe's Pub - 425 Lafayette St, New York, NY
For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com

Klezmer-rock band Golem is known for its virtuosic musicianship, theatricality, humor and fearless wild energy, combined with a boundless love of tradition. They are a leading re-interpreter and innovator of Yiddish and Eastern European music, pushing tradition forward into the 21st century. Golem is clearly "not your grandparents' klezmer." (NPR)

A Night with Daniel Kahn, June 18, 2015 at 9 PM. At Joe's Pub - 425 Lafayette St, New York, NY
For tickets call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com

Daniel Kahn has brought "Yiddish Punk Cabaret" to rock clubs, theatres, festivals and shtetls, from Berlin to Boston, Leningrad to Louisiana. 

artshare.jpg
ArtShare for HeartShare works were on display at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering from Wednesday, July 9, 2014 to Friday, July 18, 2014 in Downtown Brooklyn.

With the support of Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, President and Dean of Engineering at NYU, HeartShare artists expanded their audience in the local community by exhibiting their art at 2 MetroTech Center. Following the NYU School of Engineering exhibit, the ArtShare pieces will be displayed at National Grid, the Brooklyn Public Library and in the 12 MetroTech Center lobby. The expansion of the ArtShare for HeartShare program is made possible by funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council.

The NYU School of Engineering exhibit is part of a larger collaboration between the university and HeartShare's Developmental Disabilities Division. A photography workshop in Fall 2014 will accommodate approximately 10 NYU School of Engineering students and 10 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who participate in HeartShare's Brooklyn Day Habilitation Program in Downtown Brooklyn. 

The workshop will teach technical aspects of photography, as well as framing, and will be housed at NYU School of Engineering's ABILITY Lab, which is dedicated to the development of adaptive and assistive technologies. Allan Goldstein, an instructor of Technology, Culture and Society, will continue the learning experience with HeartShare participants next year through a Disabilities Studies course, which will focus on digital storytelling. The workshop and course, where HeartShare artists will learn alongside NYU School of Engineering students, will provide a platform for inclusion for people with disabilities.

ArtShare for HeartShare showcases artwork created by children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Artists participate in HeartShare programs or live at HeartShare residences. The 6th Annual ArtShare for HeartShare main exhibit will be at the New Century Artists Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan, from Thursday, October 30 through Saturday, November 15, 2014. Additionally, ArtShare will participate in the 2014 Governors Island Art Fair, Wednesdays and weekends from Saturday, September 6 through Sunday, September 28, 2014.

For further details on ArtShare for HeartShare, visit www.heartshare.org/artshare.

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About HeartShare Human Services of New York: 

Celebrating its Centennial Anniversary in 2014, HeartShare Human Services of New York serves almost 29,000 New Yorkers. Its array of programs assist children and adults diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders through numerous programs, including educational, life skills and vocational training, residential, case management, recreational, family support and full diagnostic health care services. HeartShare also provides foster care and adoption services for children and families, family counseling, after-school youth programs and supports individuals and their   families affected by HIV/AIDS. Additionally, HeartShare administers low-income energy assistance programs, in partnership with National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG), Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E), Consolidated Edison and Entergy, throughout New York State.

HeartShare is proud that 90% of all revenue is invested directly in its programs and services. HeartShare is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children and is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. For more information, visit www.heartshare.org and follow HeartShare on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

By Yehuda Bayme And Annie Nova

Lincoln Center Education (LCE) hosted its annual summer teacher's forum, where educators gather from all over the world to learn how to integrate the arts into their lessons. The primary focus of LCE is to inculcate knowledge and appreciation of the arts into everyone - from prisoners to people in shelters to those with special needs - as well as the general public who would not normally have such artistic exposure. "It's not Lincoln Center as addition or enrichment, it's Lincoln Center as necessity," said Russell Granet, the program's executive director.

LCE, in the heart of Lincoln Center surrounded by the Metropolitan Opera and The Julliard School, runs several programs throughout the year to incorporate the arts into the curriculum of all subject areas across the city of New York. For the forum held each summer, teachers from across the country and around the globe flock to Lincoln Center for professional development.         

This summer, educators have been prompted to "think like an artist", as they learn to weave the music, dance, theater, and fine art into their non-arts curriculums and the communities at large. In the two-week span of the program, teachers participated in labs, listened to keynote addresses, and saw performances from LCE's 2014-15 season repertory artists. Attending and experiencing these live performances are an essential part of each and every workshop during the event. One dance performance, choreographed and performed by Monica Bill Barnes and company, including Anna Bass, was used as a jumping point for workshops later that afternoon.

Performers and teachers like Bill Barnes and Bass at Lincoln Center Education love to teach. The environment is very supportive including providing the best talent available. Becky Vargus, a dancer and teaching artist at LCE, discussed with Education Update, how she is sent to affluent and disadvantaged schools around the city to incorporate movement into lesson plans. Vargus, as well as director Granet mentioned that the goal of LCE is not to make artists but it is to engage with the population so that they can think like an artist.

LCE showed us that the arts are a very high form of discipline. For example, teachers from schools were given workshops at the forum to come up with a "line of inquiry" to guide them so that they can convey a performance's message to its audience. Juxtaposing different details of the pieces they saw, teachers would then be able to reflect on the effectiveness of them and draw upon related ideas.

Lincoln Center Education is producing bright and creative ideas. It is truly inspiring the world to embrace the gift of art. For more information, visit LCE's website, http://lincolncentereducation.org.  #

Education Update, Inc. All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2013.