Since 1996, Springfield Ballet has provided busing for every second grader in the Springfield Public Schools system to attend a live, abridged performance of The Nutcracker at the historic Landers Theatre. This program is designed to expose all children to the art of ballet at an early age as part of the Any Given Child initiative. To enhance the learning experience, lesson plans are provided to the schools to be completed before attending the performance. For many of the children, this is their first experience being in a live theatre setting and viewing classical ballet. More than 46,000 students have been a part of this outreach project since it began!
Springfield Ballet is proud to be a part of Springfield's Any Given Child initiative, which seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child's arts education, using a model that combines the resources of Springfield Public Schools, local art groups, and the Kennedy Center for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Springfield Ballet's Second Grade Performances of The Nutcracker act as the second grade component of this program. "Offering a strong arts education component benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development," said Darrell M. Ayers, Kennedy Center Vice President of Education. "We want to ensure that every child receives a solid, meaningful arts education from kindergarten through eighth grade."
Study Guide for the Nutcracker.