The Foundation for Springfield Public Schools announced this week that it will make a $400 grant to Springfield’s Any Given Child program, which this year will help every first-grader and eighth-grader in the R-12 school district take a field trip to see a live theater or opera performance.
The new programs were unveiled at a luncheon on Sept. 6 at the kickoff for the implementation phase of the Any Given Child program, which seeks to ensure access to the arts for every child, grades K-8. Any Given Child is sponsored by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2010, Springfield was the second city in the U.S., after Sacramento, Calif., be selected for the program. Since then the Kennedy Center has expanded to a dozen more cities.
With this expansion of the Any Given Child program in Springfield, every first-grader in the district will be treated to a performance of “Three Little Pigs” by the SRO Lyric Theatre. Eighth-graders will get to see a performance of “Romeo & Juliet” or “Pirates of Penzance”, thanks to a partnership with the Missouri State University Department of Theatre and Dance. The Foundation for SPS grant will help with the costs of transporting the eighth graders to Missouri State University’s campus to see the performance.
“The Foundation for Springfield Public Schools is proud to support this opportunity for our eighth-grade students to be exposed to quality arts programming, realizing that experiences such as these make a true investment in the education of our children,” said Jana Bachus, executive director of the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools.
The Sept. 6 luncheon served as a kickoff for this phase of the program and allowed community arts stakeholders to welcome Barbara Shepherd, director of national partnerships for the Kennedy Center. They were also treated to an updated version of the 2011 Any Given Child of Springfield short film, produced by local filmmaker Bryan Manning (embedded below). The video is currently viewable on the CFO’s “Any Given Child” page, ; or the Any Given Child home page at kennedy-center.org.