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Exploring Emotion Through The Arts

Last week saw the kick-off of our Arts and Mental Health Initiative in partnership with Helena Public Schools!

Teaching artists Retta Leaphart and Brandon Taylor visited Kim Carson’s 4th/5th grade classroom at Hawthorne Elementary to lead a Rhythm and Movement Experience which engages students in exploring emotion through physical movement and sequencing. Every Helena Public School 4th grade student will get this experience this year!

Teaching artists Kevin Casey and Ilgaz Ulusoy Casey visited Mrs. Ralph’s and Mrs. Tabaracci’s Kindergarten classrooms at Warren Elementary to share their shadow puppet show titled The Hedgehog and The Bear. Students watched in awe as Hedgehog navigated a variety of emotions on her journey to meet her friend Bear. Students were then invited to reenact those emotions and the story themselves! Again, every Kindergarten classroom in the Helena School District will get to enjoy this experience this year.

Rhythm and Movement with 4th/5th Grade at Hawthorne:

The Hedgehog and The Bear with Kindergarten at Warren:

The Myrna Loy is working in partnership with Helena Public Schools and local teaching artists to design these experiences to intentionally support students’ mental health by integrating the arts with age-appropriate social/emotional learning. Our goal is to develop a unique arts experience for each grade level in the district over the next three years.

These experiences have so far been a huge hit, and we are looking forward to visiting the rest of Helena’s schools throughout the remainder of the school year!

Special thanks to The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for their generous support.

Photo credit: Retta Leaphart

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