KU News Release

April 15, 2011
Contact: Marisa Bregman, Lied Center, 785-864-2722

Lied Center program teaches area schoolchildren about arts, the environment

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Lied Center of Kansas is presenting Learning About the Environment Through the Arts, an engagement program, to approximately 1,000 second-grade students in Lawrence elementary schools.

The program connects arts and ecology through school-only performances at the Lied Center, teacher workshops, in-school artist residencies and a field trip to the Baker Wetlands for children at a crucial learning stage.

Learning About the Environment Through the Arts began with school-only performances of “Swimmy, Frederick and Inch by Inch” on Jan. 27. The performance, staged by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, presented three stories about an inventive fish, a creative mouse and a resourceful inchworm by iconic children’s author Leo Lionni.

The next phase of the engagement program features Kansas teaching artist Michelle Meade. She has visited second-grade classes throughout Lawrence to introduce students to puppetry, discuss the themes presented in “Swimmy, Frederick and Inch by Inch” and help prepare the students for their field trip to the Baker Wetlands. Meade explained what the wetlands are and discussed the many life cycles — animal, insect and water — the students will experience there. She also provided teachers with instruction on puppet-making for use in the final stage of the Learning About the Environment program.

On April 15 and 22, students will visit the Baker Wetlands to learn about the area and animal life cycles, rotating through four stations addressing aspects of the wetlands and animals. The stations will be staffed by the Wetlands Learners, assisted by members of KU student organizations UKanTeach and Environs, as well as other community volunteers.

Learning About the Environment Through the Arts will conclude May 1 with a closing classroom visit from Meade to help students reflect on what they have learned by collaboratively creating a story, using puppets they have created.

Learning About the Environment Through the Arts is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. It is also supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Arts Commission and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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