The Added Benefits of the Performing Arts at Summit View School

The 2016-17 Summit View School performing arts program culminated with a year-end production of “Shrek” at the Valley Glen campus.  With a cast and production team of nearly 30 students, “Shrek” was directed by the dedicated, Jacqueline Schultz, with the talented, Mitch Kaplan, providing musical direction.

“To see our students develop the courage and self-confidence to take the stage is wonderful,” said Keri Borzello, Head of School at Summit View School. “While at Summit View, our students quickly discover that they have the opportunity to explore their interests and passions. We offer extra-curricular programs, and whether it be sports or drama, the more they participate in and accomplish, the more self-confidence and self-esteem they develop.”

The performing arts program has been led by Jacqueline Schultz for the past 14-years, and during that time, she says, “I have had the opportunity to see students experience empowering transformations. From the first read-through to performance day, I have witnessed how beneficial and important the theatrical experience can be for students with learning differences. Many students have a hard time reading and processing, so we take more time learning the lines. But once the book is out of hand, these students are not held back by their “challenges” and can sing their heart out and soar as an actor. ”

Keri explains that Summit View’s approach to learning allows students to excel beyond academics since the school program is designed to meet the needs of students during school hours. “Services such as counseling, speech and language, and occupational therapy are built in, including, for example, a study hall during the day to help ease a student’s evening work load and give them the chance explore other interests.”

In addition to seeing students build their self-confidence by participating in Summit View’s theater program, Keri shares, “Participation in Summit View’s extra-curricular activities, including student performances like “Shrek”, helps to foster teamwork and communication skills. The multi-modality approach, as well as the interactive, dynamic, and collaborative nature of participating in a drama program captures all types of learners.”

Congratulations to the Summit View student theater ensemble for its wonderful performance of “Shrek”!