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Chuck Carney
IU School of Education

Last modified: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Drum Corps from Gary school highlights School of Education partnership, ArtsWeek

Watson Boys Academy students to perform on IU Bloomington campus, local elementary school

Feb. 15, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A group of fourth- through sixth-grade students from the Gary Community School Corporation's Bernard C. Watson K-6 Boys Academy Drum Corps will perform at noon on Monday (Feb. 21) at the IU School of Education, along with students from the IU Jacobs School of Music Department of Percussion. The performance in the Wright Education Building atrium is part of ArtsWeek, the annual winter festival showcasing the unique richness of artistic expression in Bloomington.

Watson Drumline

Bernard C. Watson K-6 Boys Academy Drum Corps

Print-Quality Photo

The IU School of Education's Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration began a partnership with Watson Academy which includes faculty professional development and program support, in 2006. Watson and Frankie Woods McCullough Girls Academy also have worked with School of Education faculty and staff to improve student academic performance.

Watson's drum corps will come to Bloomington on Sunday on to rehearse with the Jacobs School of Music students under the direction of Joel Brainard, instructor for the IU Marching Hundred drumline. Professor Steve Houghton and Department Chair John Tafoya arranged for the Watson-IU drumline collaboration. They all will participate in the noon IU Bloomington performance, which will be followed by an afternoon performance for Rogers Elementary students in Bloomington.

"The P-16 Center has promoted college access with the students at Watson and McCullough Academies in Gary and especially with the boys' school," said Claire King, associate director for school and community partnerships at the P-16 Center. "So we've always done this campus overnight experience with the boys at Watson. When I saw the ArtsWeek theme this year, which is 'Arts Teach' and the connections they wanted to highlight between university and community and schools, this was a natural fit."

The Watson drum corps is led by Herbert Yancy, who was a member of the IU Marching Hundred while a student at IU Bloomington. As part of the students' visit, they'll stay overnight at the Bradford Woods retreat, interact with IU student groups and participate in other events while increasing familiarity and interest in higher education.

"Our focus with the Watson school has been around literacy -- all different kinds of literacies, including numerical literacy and digital literacy," King said. "Our faculty are working with Watson right now on performance literacies. This seemed like a natural way to focus their visit this year with the drum corps."

The IU School of Education partnership with Watson and McCullough has helped enrich and enhance the educational experience for Gary students. Last fall the P-16 Center helped to organize a Saturday event where students learned to design and build robotics using LEGOs. Mentors from IU Northwest's Student African American Brotherhood organization have connected with Watson students. McCullough has met federal AYP or "Adequate Yearly Progress" in the last two years, a result McCullough's principal credits to the work of her teachers and students with their IU partners.

Sponsored in part by the IU Office of the President, Office of the Provost and Office of the Vice Provost for Research, ArtsWeek offers dozens of exhibitions, performances and family-friendly events featuring many modes of artistic expression, from photography to sculpture to dance to drama. No longer able to contain itself to one week, ArtsWeek now spans 11 days, from Feb. 17 to 27, 2011.