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EnLIVEn! enriches experiences at local schools

The lead investigator seemed flummoxed as the usual suspects  the Witch and Jack  gave different versions of the same story. And to make matters worse, the onlookers in the room laughed at him.

This was not a police station; it was a Central Middle School sixth-grade classroom on the first day of a three-day pilot of EnLIVEn!, a new arts enrichment program taught by Lawton Public School ACTS (Academic and Creative Thinking Skills) teacher Mandee Thomas. 

Bill Keeran, well-known Blue Moon Productions and Lawton Community Theatre actor and comedian, improvised the part of the lead investigator, while students Mikahah Anderson as the Witch and Dail Kinslow as Jack read scripts to demonstrate to the class how point of view can creatively change a story.

"EnLIVEn! is just another way we can offer arts enrichment in the classroom for Lawton Public Schools," Thomas said, explaining that the program will utilize talented actors and artists in the community to bring the arts to the school system to help students develop life skills and understand specific standards.

The interactive lessons offered will be aligned to state standards, and the program "is not just for gifted and talented kids, it is going to be for everyone  high school, middle school, elementary," she said. 

The pilot 
The three-day EnLIVEn! pilot program demonstrated creativity, point of view, focus and being able to condense a creative idea without losing needed details to the sixth-graders in Bethany Morlett's classroom where Thomas had been invited to teach.

On the first day, Anderson, Kinslow and a few other students were handed envelopes when they arrived in class, soon finding out that they would be the "usual suspects" rounded up for interrogation by Keeran and Thomas.

The first day contained the program's introductory material explaining point of view and other concepts they would learn.

On the second day, Thomas read "The Real Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by A. Wolf to the students to explain how a different point of view can change a story. 

"The students are also creating three-dimensional characters  villains  and then they will rewrite a scene from a bad guy's point of view," Thomas said. 

Setting right to work with paper, scissors and crayons, the students excitedly discussed the villains they were creating.

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