Gary Handzel
Arts in Action Secretary

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November 13, 2012
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My Echo Story: Get into the Act! Arts in Action

Get in the Act! Arts in Action combines energizing drama techniques with guided-inquiry to strengthen students' comprehension of science concepts. Since 2010, our pioneering Science Theater program has positively impacted more than 2,000 elementary students in six schools across three school districts in the Lake Tahoe Region. Get in the Act! draws on the performing arts as an invaluable teaching tool to break open curriculum so that students get science concepts "into their bones." As a result, Science Theater is particularly effective at reaching the non-traditional learner.

According to a report by the Center on Education and the Workforce, 8 million jobs will be available in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields by 2018. However, the report also indicates that the next generation of employees in America will be unprepared and unqualified to take advantage of these positions.

Recognizing this profound implication for the future of America's workforce, Science Theater grooms students to build critical-thinking skills and promotes interest in STEM disciplines. Get in the Act!'s hands-on dramatizations provide a framework so that students absorb science ideas through proactive engagement of all their senses. Our upbeat learning methods provide a personal connection to core science content, embedding it more firmly in a student's mind.

Local school officials also believe Science Theater has helped improve science test scores.

"Science Theater has directly helped our students improve their test scores," said Zephyr Cove Elementary School Principal Nancy Cauley, whose school's scores have increased 44 percent since 2010. "The hands-on, participatory nature of this program allows students to fully grasp difficult science concepts and reach common core learning standards. Students, parents, and teachers love this program!"

Finally, the most rewarding aspect is hearing from the students themselves, such as the fourth-grader who proclaimed, "Wouldn't it be great if we learned all subjects this way?!"

Get in the Act sincerely thanks Vail Resorts Echo and all our valued partners for their support in strengthening our communities.

- Corporate sustainability has always been fundamental for Kirkwood and Heavenly Mountain Resort and their parent company, Vail Resorts. Through Vail Resorts Echo, our sustainability program, we hope to connect our communities to our efforts - from on the ground conservation programs to grants for local schools. Aimed at both protecting the natural resources that surround the resorts and helping build stronger communities where our employees live and work, Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Want to learn more about VR Echo? Go to

Get in the Act! Arts in Action is a dedicated team of professionally trained artists and educators that use the performing arts as powerful teaching tools to strengthen the learning process. Founded in September 2009, its nonprofit work is a natural outgrowth of our successful ten years of creative arts programming in the the Northern Sierra Nevada region. By partnering with schools and community centers it has served more than 10,000 students, parents, and audience participants with programs that educate and entertain. For more information, contact Gary Handzel at 775-588-8614 or visit

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 13, 2012 05:26PM Published Nov 13, 2012 05:25PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.