There is a common misconception among those not familiar with the proud history of the South Plantation High School Theater program that the production costs to put on a show "can't be that much because...well, it's ONLY a high school production".
It would be a terrible mistake to make such an assumption. Theater director Jason Zembuch-Young's approach embodies the motto that is so often echoed in the Paladin Playhouse- "Professional Theater in a High School Setting". Our budgets for a production often run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Now, consider that the theater program receives ZERO funds from the School Board of Broward County. Not one dime. All funding for our productions are raised through fundraising, ticket sales and corporate sponsorships.
Whether you are an individual or you represent a corporation, consider partnering with us to uphold the tradition of excellence at South Plantation High School by providing our students with the best possible high school theater arts experience possible.
There are many ways your company or corporation can help us help these gifted students achieve their dreams. You can:
Whatever business you are in it is likely we can utilize your service or product. Just call us and ask "how can I help?
Every person counts when it comes to helping the students. As an individual you can:
The evidence is clear- education in the arts is critical to developing minds. A 2006 publication called "Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement", describes, in nontechnical terms, what the research says about how study of the arts contributes to academic achievement and student success. The following is an excerpt from this publication:
"How Study of the Arts Contributes to Student Achievement and Success"
A growing body of studies, including those in the research compendium Critical Links, presents compelling evidence connecting student learning in the arts to a wide spectrum of academic and social benefits. These studies document the habits of mind, social competencies and personal dispositions inherent to arts learning. Additionally, research has shown that what students learn in the arts may help them to master other subjects, such as reading, math or social studies.
Students who participate in arts learning experiences often improve their achievement in other realms of learning and life. In a well-documented national study using a federal database of over 25,000 middle and high school students, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles found students with high arts involvement performed better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Moreover, the high arts-involved students also watched fewer hours of TV, participated in more community service and reported less boredom in school.12
The concept of transfer, in which “learning in one context assists learning in a different context,” has intrigued cognitive scientists and education researchers for more than a century.13 A commonly held view is that all learning experiences involve some degree of transfer both in life and learning outside the school as well as learning within the school. However, the nature and extent of these transfers remain a topic of great research interest. Recent studies suggest the effects of transfer may in fact accrue over time and reveal themselves in multiple ways.
Researchers continue to explore the complex processes involved in learning and the acquisition of knowledge and skills. One promising line of inquiry focuses on how to measure the full range of benefits associated with arts learning. These include efforts to develop a reliable means to assess some of the subtler effects of arts learning that standardized tests fail to capture, such as the motivation to achieve or the ability to think critically.
How Study of the Arts Contributes to Student Achievement and Success
The relationship between arts learning and the SAT is of considerable interest to anyone concerned with college readiness and admissions issues. The SAT Reasoning Test (formerly known as the SAT I) is the most widely used test offered by the College Board as part of its SAT Program. It assesses students’ verbal and math skills and knowledge and is described as a “standardized measure of college readiness.” Many public colleges and universities use SAT scores in admissions. Nearly half of the nation’s three million high school graduates in 2005 took the SAT.
Multiple independent studies have shown increased years of enrollment in arts courses are positively correlated with higher SAT verbal and math scores. High school students who take arts classes have higher math and verbal SAT scores than students
who take no arts classes.
Arts participation and SAT scores co-vary—that is, they tend to increase linearly: the more arts classes, the higher the scores. This relationship is illustrated in the 2005 results shown below. Notably, students who took four years of arts coursework outperformed their peers who had one half-year or less of arts coursework by 58 points on the verbal portion and 38 points on the math portion of the SAT."
(© 2006 by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. All rights reserved. Read entire publication here.)
Yet, despite all this information, we continue to see cuts in local and federal funding for theater programs such as the one at South. We really struggle to survive.
If not for individual contributions, corporate sponsorships, advertisements in Paladin Playbills and ticket sales, there would be no theater program at South for these exceptional students.
Please consider how your company can help support the performing arts at South Plantation High School. Many corporations have foundations and offer grants. If you work for one of these, contact us and let us know what steps we need to take to apply. Or, if you are a small business, make a donation to the South Plantation Friends of the Theatre.
SPHS Friends of the Theater
South Plantation High School, 1300 SW 54 Avenue, Plantation, FL 33317
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All photos by Ms. Tina Oda
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