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Morning Bell: Disney Musicals in Schools program comes to OKC

Lyric Theatre performs the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol" at its Plaza Theatre. [Photo provided by KO Rinearson]
Lyric Theatre performs the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol" at its Plaza Theatre. [Photo provided by KO Rinearson]

Good Tuesday morning! Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma has been awarded a $120,000 grant to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to Oklahoma City Public Schools. 

The program, which is meant to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools, will work with five OKCPS public elementary schools this year, and another five will be selected for next year.

The selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theater residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by Lyric Theatre and Disney Theatrical Productions, at no cost. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. 

The Oklahoman's Brandy McDonnell has more on the program

Tulsa high schools could participate in redesign project

Four high schools with different and significant challenges could soon participate in Tulsa Beyond, an initiative aimed at re-imagining high school in Tulsa Public Schools. The effort could drastically change how thousands of students are educated across the city, reports the Tulsa World

Ardmore alternative program gets more room

Take Two Academy, an alternative education program in Ardmore, is moving the old Charles Evans Elementary School building. The program, which serves students who struggle in a normal school environment, has been housed in the old Ardmore High School gymnasium for the last several years, reports the Ardmoreite

Take Two Director Lori Bell said the new space is a much needed change.

"This alone, right here?," she said, gesturing to the wide, empty hallway. "This is awesome. I get goosebumps."

Local child abuse prevention program available

The CARE Center, Oklahoma County's only child advocacy center, is now licensing its child abuse prevention program, ROAR, which teaches children ages 4 to 8 about body safety and empowerment in an interactive, child-friendly lesson.

“We teach our children about fire safety, bullying and strangers, but what about staying safe from abuse?” asks Stacy McNeiland, CEO of The CARE Center.

Developed by The CARE Center and its expert partners, the ROAR curriculum includes a 20-minute lesson and take-home materials to inform parents and caregivers.

DeVos may bypass Congress in attempt to end ELL office

The U.S. Department of Education is forging ahead with plans to scraps the federal office of English-language acquisition—perhaps without seeking congressional approval or public comment on the proposal, reports Education Week

A coalition of English-language-learner advocates fears the department is headed that way, based on their correspondence with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' top deputy.

"The threat is real," said Rebeca Shackleford, an education policy analyst with UnidosUS.

That's all for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Tuesday!

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Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›