In Their Own Words

Educators, Students, Parents and others share how AFLCT programming is making a positive impact on their schools and communities throughout Connecticut.

I have been very impressed with the quality of performances I have seen through Arts For Learning Connecticut. Our students have been enthralled with the artists. Learning truly comes alive in the hands of these gifted actors, singers, puppeteers and dancers. Beyond that, the folks at the Arts For Learning Connecticut office are experts at what they do! They are helpful with suggestions, efficient with paperwork and demonstrate a love for bringing the arts to students. They do what I could not do myself—find incredibly talented artists who present a wide variety of programs and make all the arrangements necessary to have them come to our schools.

The arts truly come alive thanks to the great people at Arts For Learning Connecticut. You can be sure that if you hire an artist through their office that they are top notch. We have hosted AFLCT acts ranging from African music to an edgy, nationally known a cappella singing group, to amazing storytellers to master puppeteers. Every single act has enthralled our students. The performances were not only memorable, but they gave classroom teachers a great deal to talk about with their students. The arts are an essential part of every child’s education. Arts For Learning Connecticut does all the work to bring professional artists into our schools. Our students are receiving a better education because of our partnership with Arts For Learning CT!

Eric Brian Nyquist

Director of Fine & Performing Arts
Hamden Public Schools

For the past week, my 21 fourth grade students and I had the pleasure of working with AFLCT artist, Craig Norton. What an amazing experience! There were many highlights to the week—highly engaged and enthusiastic students… an instructor who was patient and understanding, while being informative and knowledgeable… materials that were easy to use and kid- friendly… a variety of experiences for students, which allowed kids to work at their own independent level… all in all, a wonderful experience, culminating in students seeing their own work on the big screen.

Every 45-minute session flew by! It was an amazing week and we feel so fortunate to have interacted with Mr. Norton. Thank you!

Christine Mori

4th Grade Teacher
Wolcott Elementary School, West Hartford, CT

“It is so freeing to watch space be explored in atypical ways… seeing a balloon that is expected to float, handled in a way that it appears still, in mid-air… or when a pole becomes the dance partner and a body circles in parabolic shapes around it—like the movements of the planets along the ecliptic.”

“AMAZING PERFORMANCE—DANCE IS COOL!!”
Note: privacy policies prevent revealing student names and the names of the school(s) they attend.

Middle School students describing Locomotion with Adam Battelstein

During the break between performances a special needs student ran into the gym shouting. His caretaker reminded the boy that he had seen the performance earlier and needed to go with her. The boy just yelled and pointed to one of Iddi’s drums. Iddi got the drum off the stage and showed the boy how to play it!

Hard to describe the smile on the boy’s face as he gave Iddi a hug and walked quietly and happily away holding his caretakers hand! Clearly made his day, and the caretaker took a photo to give to the boy’s mom.”
(referring to AFLCT Artist, Iddi Saaka’s popular Soro Bindi program).

Vito DiNapoli

Parent
Lebanon Elementary School, Lebanon, CT

Thank you so much for the Chariots of the Sun performance you presented yesterday. The students and staff at 6th grade at Kennedy Middle School spent time reading folklore and mythology and the students were able to truly see myths come to life on stage.  The students were engaged, entertained, and excited by the three stories presented. I consider  this program to be one of the best programs we get to see all year—students were raving about it. The words “great,” “awesome,” and “so much fun” were used by many of the students I talked to. You know when you get 6th graders raving about a program, you’ve done something special. It truly capped the end of our folklore unit in the perfect
way. We’ll be looking forward to seeing you next year.

Chris Forest

Kennedy Middle School, Plantsville, CT

I continue meeting Arts for Learning teachers all over the place! I was in a fantastic improv workshop with Anthony DePoto (Inner Act) last month at the Wallingford Library. I’m really impressed by the reach and network of the great educators you’ve got. Every time I meet somebody else from AFLCT, it adds to my understanding of what you do—and why it matters so much!

Leah Russell

Co-Founder
Wheel to Sea Productions, Wallingford, CT

Both Ginga Brasiliera and Leland Faulkner were truly amazing. The students were at the edge of their seats. Kindergartners and 6th graders alike were loving the shows. We hope to have these artists return to our school again soon.

Keri Banack
Volunteer Multicultural Arts Coordinator

(Also a former Teacher & Mom to a Kindergartner and 2nd Grader)
Highland Elementary School Cheshire, CT

Please extend our appreciation and gratitude to the AFLCT leadership and staff for the quality programming you have provided our school assembly program. Over the years we have enjoyed numerous engagements through your organization and have received terrific feedback from the faculty and administration.

With each performer/ensemble’s unique cultural and educational presentation, my colleague, Karen and I have been especially pleased to provide the kids so many high quality and varied experiences.  With the performers we have had in the past, and especially Dance China NY and Gizmo Guys this year, we have
been glad to have such a wide range of performers to consider.  We are also grateful to have seen so many of your performers at the showcase in September.

Greg Czerkawski & Karen Garcia-Callot

Cultural Program Co-Chairpersons
Redding Elementary School PTA, Redding, CT

We had the pleasure of having Craig Norton at our school last week. He had a wonderful way of incorporating the camera, facts about nature and hands-on learning.

The kids were always engaged and enjoyed every day. They looked forward to it excitedly. I received positive feedback from parents and the foundation who funded my grant. Thank you.

Cathy Fagan

Grade 4 Teacher
Wolcott School, West Hartford, CT