Theatre in Our Schools (TIOS) Month is a campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students. While activities may take place any time, March is designated the official month for TIOS.
The TIOS campaign is jointly sponsored nationally by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education, the Educational Theatre Association, and the International Thespian Society. Thousands of students and theatre educators from hundreds of schools across the nation spread the word online, in their communities, school boards, and to elected officials, demonstrating how their school theatre experience provides 21st century skills.
Participation in TIOS is open to all, with Thespian troupes taking a leading role.
Thespian troupes at three schools have earned an award for the awareness they raised during March. All the winning schools employed announcements and displays in their schools to raise awareness. What distinguishes outstanding impact is demonstrated effort with school board members, elected officials, and communities.
The 2019 Theatre in Our Schools Outstanding Impact Award winners are:
First place: Leavenworth Senior High School, Thespian Troupe 287, Leavenworth, Kansas
Second place: Valley View High School, Thespian Troupe 4735, Moreno Valley, California
Third place: Westerville North High School, Thespian Troupe 3156, Westerville, Ohio
Leavenworth Senior High School Troupe 287, under the direction of Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat, had student advocacy leaders present to the Leavenworth City Commission and mayor about the importance of theatre in our schools. The meeting was televised on local public stations. Additionally, Jermaine Wilson, the city’s new mayor, presented Leavenworth High School Theatre with the first Mayor’s Award for building community in Leavenworth and for the impact the theatre department has had on the vision of the city and its image statewide. Troupe members met with Senator Kevin Braun and Representative Jeff Pittman, as well as Ken Adams, executive director for the Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education and Joyce Huser, Kansas State Department of Education program consultant for fine arts, during Lunch with Your Legislator as part of the Kansas Theatre in Our Schools Advocacy Day.
Valley View High School Troupe 4735, under the direction of Jeanine Lopez, met with their district representative Jose Medina to discuss advocacy for the performing arts. Members of the troupe also created an arts advocacy video for the California Educational Theatre Association High School Theatre Festival. A Day Without Theatre described the benefits of theatre education by depicting what their school experience would be without theatre education. The troupe also represented Theatre in Our Schools at an arts event called Arts Now where they sat on panels discussing the importance of the arts.
Westerville North High School Troupe 3156, under the direction of Kimberly Mollohan, organized a school assembly where Thespians performed, held a Q&A, and spoke to students about the importance of school theatre and how they can get involved. The troupe reached out to the Arts Council of Westerville and presented about Theatre in Our Schools Month to their board. Troupe representatives also visited Ohio State Senator Tina Maharath’s office, where they discussed the importance of theatre education with her legislative aide, Eric Connelly.