Mary Jane Pennington in the Theatre for the Very Young production of The Tranquil Tortoise and the Hoppity Hare

smART stART Research

smART stART Research

  • smART stART is an arts-integrated approach to early literacy that supports a student’s ability to tell and retell a story, including sequencing and narrative elements.
  • A team from Roanoke College designed a smART stART assessment plan that was implemented from 2012-2015. The purpose of the assessment was to measure student gains in meeting the Common Core Georgia Performance standards in English Language Arts and the effectiveness of training strategies for the classroom teacher. The findings reported in the spring of 2015 were consistent with finding from previous years of the assessment plan. They included the fact that students showed positive gains on literacy skills of +5.77, almost one level of competence on the evaluation scale. All teachers participating in the smART stART Professional Learning workshop “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” to survey questions regarding the workshop’s effectiveness. Teachers implementing the smART stART program “Agreed” at a rate of 100% that arts integration can increase student appreciation of and interest in the arts.
  • The methodologies used to obtain these findings include on-line pre-and post surveys from classroom teachers, classroom implementation ratings by classroom teachers, student pre/post rubric scores, classroom observation protocols that follow a structured protocol format, and semi-structured focus group interviews with classroom teachers and students.


To mark the end of the Alliance Stage as we know it, and to welcome the new era with the start of the big renovation, Pearl Cleage, our Mellon Playwright in Residence, wrote a piece to commemorate this special occasion.

As a spunky gal in touch with nature in the kingdom of Kashoogie, India S. Tyree portrays a unique Cinderella in the world-premiere production of Cinderella and Fella. In between performances, India took a few minutes to give us the inside scoop on her role in the musical.

A quick glance at Magic Negro director Anthony LeBlanc's resume reveals a robust string of achievements likely to be the envy of any comedian in the business. One particular credit to his name may cause others to take pause: a Computer Science and Physics B.S. degree.



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