When it comes to enriching the lives of children, particularly as it pertains to the arts, the Class Acts Sampson CenterStage for Students, has shone as brightly as any other fundraising star could possibly shine.
In its 15th year, the Class Acts Series, thanks to community sponsors, forward thinking educators and the continued drive of Expo Center director Ray Jordan, continues to bring both entertaining and educational programs to students from our two public school systems, as well as Harrells Christian Academy.
Presented in partnership with local schools and provided free of charge through corporate and community support, “Class Acts-Sampson CenterStage for Students” introduces Sampson County students to the performing arts in an educational and entertaining setting.
As we have dozens of times on these pages in support of Class Acts, we continue to stress the importance of this program, particularly to the dozens upon dozens of students who simply don’t have the exposure to the arts that some of their more fortunate classmates are given a taste of year after year.
For that reason, and many more, we’ve always touted the strengths of the series and the importance of it continuing year after year.
That has been done in good economic times and bad, thanks to the generosity of businesses and individuals who, like us, believe that exposing our children to enriching programs stretches their minds, broadens their horizons and opens their eyes to lives far removed from what they are used to here in Sampson County.
It also gives them yet another educational experience, one molded toward the curriculum yet far removed from the classroom, offering yet another approach to teaching that often reaches children in different places and can hit home runs with them in terms of retaining information.
This week, for example, seventh and eighth graders from across the county were invited this week to see a one-woman play about Harriett Tubman. Dramatic and edge-of-the-seat interesting, the play was a history lesson on Tubman’s life, teaching attendees about the abolitionist and humanitarian in a way that they could see and sense.
Like so many of the Class Acts performances, students get an up-close view of history as it comes alive in front of them.
What a great way to learn!
Since its inception 15 years ago, over 100,000 students have now attended Class Acts performances, and the community has contributed $408,283, which equates to $4.17 per student per year for the past 14 years
Annually, between 8,000-8,200 students visit the Expo Center to attend live performances specifically designed for their grade levels and curriculum alignments. Teachers are provided study guides designed to educate as well as enhance the theater-going experience of each student.
The numbers tell the remarkable story of a program that works well and has found the support of a community willing to give because of its success.
We tip our hats to corporate and business sponsors for their continued contributions to this very worthwhile program, and we laud Jordan for being the driving force in keeping it alive and valuable.
No question this program lives up to its name.