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Any Given Child Exposes Children to the Arts

Missouri State

Eighth grade students from Carver, Hickory Hills, Cherokee and Pleasant View will be on the Missouri State University Campus tomorrow.  For many, it could be their first chance to attend a dance performance.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

The students will get to see the latest show presented by the Missouri State University Dance Department, “Strutting and Fretting:  a neo Vaudeville.”  Afterwards, they’ll get to talk with the dancers.  The rest of the district’s 8th graders saw “Our Town” at MSU in the fall. 

The field trip is part of Any Given Child, a program started by the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

"Their main objectives in the program are to bring arts education to communities to help communities understand ways that they can partner with arts organizations in their area and develop partnerships that deliver services to children," he said.

Randy Russell, coordinator of Any Given Child, said the program serves kids in kindergarten through 8th grade.  Each grade has an opportunity every year to be exposed to the arts.  Springfield Regional Opera this year is bringing the Three Little Pigs to kindergarten and first grade students in Springfield.

"If you go to the school and watch this happen, kids are just fascinated by watching the big bad wolf come out, but they're listening to the music of Mozart, and it's a very early exposure for them," he said.

Second graders attend a performance of the Nutcracker by the Springfield Ballet, third graders see Peter & the Wolf at Drury, fourth graders attend a play at Springfield Little Theatre, fifth graders visit the Springfield Art Museum, and second and sixth graders get art supplies to take home.  Russell said Any Given Child still needs to find a partner for the seventh grade.

According to Russell, Springfield was the second site in the nation to be chosen for Any Given Child.  There are currently 16 sites.

Interview with Randy Russell on Any Given Child

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.
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