During the 2019-2020 academic year, fourth graders in Mrs. Waloch’s class will take part in a place-based education project collaborating with the residents of Parkside Nursing Home. For the past two years, students in this class have gone to Parkside to interview residents and conduct an oral history project. However, this project became something special when friendships with residents were formed. Instead of a one-time meeting, Mrs. Waloch’s class created “Parkside Buddies.” This year, the students get to take this project several steps further thanks to Dr. Steven & Linda Johnson and their LPS Place-Based Education Grant. There is a great amount of research that shows the benefit of theatre in schools. The Arts Education Policy Review states, “Drama instruction integrated into classrooms improves students’ social-emotional development and contributes to a positive classroom culture.” Therefore, students will take their oral history project and write a script for a play. This will be a student-led project with students breaking up into groups (casting, writing, editing, sound, props, and costumes). The result will be a dramatic play, sharing the stories of many long-time Lisbon residents. It will be performed for the community, and of course special guests Parkside residents and family.

Photo of students with Christmas gifts for Parkside Buddies.

(This photo is of last year’s fourth graders and their helpers as they made Christmas gifts for their Parkside Buddies)