Theatre in Our Schools Month (TIOS) is a grassroots effort to educate everyone about the benefits of having theatre in the schools, and to draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students. The campaign is jointly sponsored nationally by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE), the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and the International Thespian Society (ITS).
Westerville North High School is busy promoting Theatre Education for TIOS. They are hosting Middle School Night during the Friday, March 15 performance of Newsies to engage younger students in the arts program. A special visit to the Heritage Middle School’s drama club is planned for later in the month.
Westerville North is the home of ITS Troupe 3156, the nationwide high school drama honorary society planning TIOS activities. TIOS is a chance for students, parents, communities, school boards, and elected officials to become familiar with the benefits of school theatre participation, which includes development of 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. Patti Doud, Drama Club board member at North, will be meeting with legislative aides from Senator Tina Mahareth’s office on March 19 to discuss the importance of theatre education in today’s schools. A visit with Ohio State Representative Mary Lightbody is also planned.
According to The College Board, in 2015, students who took four years of arts classes in high school scored an average of 92 points higher on their SATs than students who took only half a year or less. However, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 28 percent of public high schools in high poverty areas offer theatre instruction.
To see ITS Troupe 3156 and the school drama program in action, come to the next performance of Newsies, March 14-17. Tickets can be purchased online at https://westerville-north-theater-department.ticketleap.com/ .