Custom Class: post-landing-hero

Rowland Hall juniors identify and research a global, local, or internal issue they feel strongly about, then volunteer for an organization associated with their topic. Dubbed Project 11, this experience entails more than clocking service hours. Rowland Hall supports juniors with the resources to design and implement a solution to the problem they’ve chosen to explore.

Faculty designed Project 11 to be experiential rather than cerebral, and personal yet communally relevant. It provides a platform for individuals to hone personal voice and identity and creates a workplace for students to build, reflect, and respond to community issues. It’s a place for students to develop love and respect for themselves and the people in their communities, and to access a deeper sense of place. It’s also a culminating and potentially formative experience for juniors preparing to apply to college.

The History

Several years ago, a team of Upper School teachers assembled to develop a learning program to reach beyond the classroom. The team met and brainstormed for a year before launching Project 11, a real-world community-building experience for Rowland Hall juniors. Associate Director of Community Partnerships and Chair of the Arts Department Sofia Gorder, Physical Education teacher Mark Oftedal, and former Director of Service Learning Liz Paige founded the program. Director of Ethical Education Ryan Hoglund currently oversees it.

Rowland Hall’s service-learning program was originally built around volunteering in local nonprofits. But seven years ago, as Utah grew and changed, the program took on a global perspective. Rowland Hall has always been open to everyone—those inside and outside the prescribed societal, racial, religious, socioeconomic, and familial structural norms. Local growth and increased diversity spurred Project 11 to tackle community partnerships in new and inclusive ways, thus bringing students and teachers together as partners in the evolving culture of education.

Project 11 has gained momentum over the years and has carved a lasting space in our students’ lives. Often, students graduate with hundreds of hours beyond the volunteer requirements. Those who invest wholeheartedly in projects hand them off to up-and-coming community student-activists to ensure their projects endure. 

Global Education and the Navajo Nation as a part of Project 11

After solidifying a number of partnerships with Navajo people in 2016, the Navajo Project is considered to be the “Advanced Placement” equivalent of community building for juniors. Students interested in community engagement, activism, research, developing solutions, and meeting people of another nation can apply to the Navajo Project during their junior year.

Project 11 students have gone on to reframe the assignment as a global education initiative. The Navajo Nation and its people represent a community that is accessible, already part of our curriculum and community, yet invisible in many ways. To learn more, a selected group of 20 students and four faculty worked in Salt Lake City and on the reservation throughout 2015–2016 on a cultural exchange and community-building project. The biggest takeaway was that we had a great deal to learn from a population of 200,000 people, a mere six hours away. We discovered that environmental sustainability is a huge Native concern; that indigenous languages are a fading link to heritage; art is sacred; heart-wrenching racism is systemic in our state; poor healthcare on Native lands leads to new and alarming diseases; public education on the Navajo Nation is not taken seriously; and that regressive federal and state policies create impassable roadblocks for Native people at nearly every level.

Project 11 Grows Toward the Whole Community

As Project 11 continues to grow, we plan to make all projects visible and accessible enough to involve our entire community. This spring marks our first-ever Community Project Presentation. It will include a student-led fair with all projects and agencies present to share experiences, and to mobilize and motivate our community to get involved. Read on to learn more about recent projects and their impacts.

Rubbish Redemption: This Project Isn’t Trash

  1. Team: Alicia Lu, Cindy Shen, and 13 Middle School students
  2. Challenge: Confront the issue of waste at our school by entering the Shane McConkey EcoChallenge, a national sustainability competition established in memory of McConkey, a professional skier and base jumper.
  3. Process: Ran a waste-collection competition in the Middle School, stuffed plastic bottles with the collected 1,500 liters of non-recyclable trash to make eco-bricks, named and marketed the project, and used the bricks to install a usable bench on the west side of campus.
  4. Solution: The McConkey Foundation awarded “Rubbish Redemption: This Project Isn’t Trash” the $6,000 first-place prize. Winnings will be used to endow future student-led sustainability projects at Rowland Hall. Read more about this project in another Fine Print story.

Designing a Meaningful Exchange Between Cultures

  1. Team: Keelan Kenny and 19 classmates
  2. Challenge: Educate the public on the Navajo Nation and dispel misunderstandings about its people and their culture. Learn about and understand the challenges of the Navajo Nation. The Navajo people are often incorrectly and often unfairly portrayed. Break down stereotypes, and prioritize solutions to large-scale problems.
  3. Process: Established a cultural exchange between Rowland Hall and the Navajo Nation. Work included planting gardens, volunteering in clinics, assisting the elderly, and researching water problems.
  4. Solution: The team created an informative documentary to portray the Nation’s hardships and challenges, as well as the joys of newfound cross-cultural friendships. Keelan also initiated a letter exchange between fourth graders on the Nation and in Salt Lake City, and is now working with five teachers to launch a year-long letter exchange.

Splore’s Rock On Program—Working with Children with Autism

  1. Team: Catherine Rogers and Kenzo Okazaki (mentors)
  2. Challenge: Help children on the autism spectrum become comfortable with physical challenges and develop confidence through sport. Aid in the development of emotional, cognitive, and physical skills through eight weeks of rock-climbing sessions at Splore.
  3. Process: The children climbed and rappelled a 50-foot-tall climbing wall. The mentors served as belayers and respected the children as athletes facing a challenge. By conquering the wall, the children developed increased self-esteem and became confident climbers.
  4. Solution: Developed a training video for Splore’s future volunteers. The video addresses the physical and psychological aspects of rock climbing, and the life skills of conquering fear and enjoying success.

The Common Ground

  1. Team: Oliver Jin and Knox Heslop
  2. Challenge: Give non-Natives a greater understanding of the vibrant Navajo culture as it exists today. Use filmmaking to tell stories, present issues, and light a spark of humanity in our world.
  3. Process: Documented the beauty of the Navajo land, tradition, and people. Instead of simply operating the camera, Oliver was personally drawn into the story of the Navajo people and culture.
  4. Solution: Made The Common Ground, a documentary about the Navajo past and present, their interpretation of the world, and their relationship with nature.

Music and Community Building with the Lincoln Street Orchestra

  1. Team: Will Matheson and the six other members of the Lincoln Street Jazz Company
  2. Challenge: Play live music to provide a routine source of joy in isolated communities. Use Lincoln Street Jazz Company’s distinctive genre of music to connect with older adults.
  3. Process: The jazz group sought out opportunities to perform and engage a community isolated from youth yet energized by it, using a playset common to both eras.
  4. Solution: Gave performances at senior centers and facilities, taking time to involve and interact with residents. Hope to pass idea along to other creative entities to involve an often-forgotten community.

Advocacy and Self-Expression Through Writing

  1. Team: Isaac Ball
  2. Challenge: Positively impact on the Navajo Nation through creative writing. Involve and expose students of Montezuma Creek Elementary to basic creative writing concepts that may get left out in favor of traditional composition-class curriculum.
  3. Process: Used academic experience in Rowland Hall’s creative writing classes and the school’s literary magazine to channel passion and develop writing class for younger Navajo students at Montezuma Creek Elementary.
  4. Solution: Create a year-long workshop to support personal storytelling through writing. View writing as a creative art form—provide an outlet for personal expression and a group platform for sharing Navajo cultural expression.

Refugee Student Tutoring Program

  1. Team: Anna Greenberg and Eleanor Mancheski
  2. Challenge: Meet the needs and struggles faced by refugee youth learning English. Implement a tutoring program at Hartland Partnership Center (HPC).
  3. Process: Used and improved a space where previous Project 11 students created a makeshift library. Added resources, taught reading skills and problem-solving, and built relationships.
  4. Solution: Expanded the library with books from Rowland Hall’s upper and middle school libraries. Forged relationships at HPC—encouraging both the students and Project 11 participants to continue building this partnership.

Top photo: A student trip to Bears Ears photographed by teacher Joel Long. For Project 11, Julia Villar and Rachel Morse, now seniors, produced a video to advocate for a Bears Ears national monument. Watch the video on the Utah Diné Bikéyah Facebook page.

Experiential Learning

Project 11 Makes a Lasting Impact on Juniors and the Communities they Serve

Rowland Hall juniors identify and research a global, local, or internal issue they feel strongly about, then volunteer for an organization associated with their topic. Dubbed Project 11, this experience entails more than clocking service hours. Rowland Hall supports juniors with the resources to design and implement a solution to the problem they’ve chosen to explore.

Faculty designed Project 11 to be experiential rather than cerebral, and personal yet communally relevant. It provides a platform for individuals to hone personal voice and identity and creates a workplace for students to build, reflect, and respond to community issues. It’s a place for students to develop love and respect for themselves and the people in their communities, and to access a deeper sense of place. It’s also a culminating and potentially formative experience for juniors preparing to apply to college.

The History

Several years ago, a team of Upper School teachers assembled to develop a learning program to reach beyond the classroom. The team met and brainstormed for a year before launching Project 11, a real-world community-building experience for Rowland Hall juniors. Associate Director of Community Partnerships and Chair of the Arts Department Sofia Gorder, Physical Education teacher Mark Oftedal, and former Director of Service Learning Liz Paige founded the program. Director of Ethical Education Ryan Hoglund currently oversees it.

Rowland Hall’s service-learning program was originally built around volunteering in local nonprofits. But seven years ago, as Utah grew and changed, the program took on a global perspective. Rowland Hall has always been open to everyone—those inside and outside the prescribed societal, racial, religious, socioeconomic, and familial structural norms. Local growth and increased diversity spurred Project 11 to tackle community partnerships in new and inclusive ways, thus bringing students and teachers together as partners in the evolving culture of education.

Project 11 has gained momentum over the years and has carved a lasting space in our students’ lives. Often, students graduate with hundreds of hours beyond the volunteer requirements. Those who invest wholeheartedly in projects hand them off to up-and-coming community student-activists to ensure their projects endure. 

Global Education and the Navajo Nation as a part of Project 11

After solidifying a number of partnerships with Navajo people in 2016, the Navajo Project is considered to be the “Advanced Placement” equivalent of community building for juniors. Students interested in community engagement, activism, research, developing solutions, and meeting people of another nation can apply to the Navajo Project during their junior year.

Project 11 students have gone on to reframe the assignment as a global education initiative. The Navajo Nation and its people represent a community that is accessible, already part of our curriculum and community, yet invisible in many ways. To learn more, a selected group of 20 students and four faculty worked in Salt Lake City and on the reservation throughout 2015–2016 on a cultural exchange and community-building project. The biggest takeaway was that we had a great deal to learn from a population of 200,000 people, a mere six hours away. We discovered that environmental sustainability is a huge Native concern; that indigenous languages are a fading link to heritage; art is sacred; heart-wrenching racism is systemic in our state; poor healthcare on Native lands leads to new and alarming diseases; public education on the Navajo Nation is not taken seriously; and that regressive federal and state policies create impassable roadblocks for Native people at nearly every level.

Project 11 Grows Toward the Whole Community

As Project 11 continues to grow, we plan to make all projects visible and accessible enough to involve our entire community. This spring marks our first-ever Community Project Presentation. It will include a student-led fair with all projects and agencies present to share experiences, and to mobilize and motivate our community to get involved. Read on to learn more about recent projects and their impacts.

Rubbish Redemption: This Project Isn’t Trash

  1. Team: Alicia Lu, Cindy Shen, and 13 Middle School students
  2. Challenge: Confront the issue of waste at our school by entering the Shane McConkey EcoChallenge, a national sustainability competition established in memory of McConkey, a professional skier and base jumper.
  3. Process: Ran a waste-collection competition in the Middle School, stuffed plastic bottles with the collected 1,500 liters of non-recyclable trash to make eco-bricks, named and marketed the project, and used the bricks to install a usable bench on the west side of campus.
  4. Solution: The McConkey Foundation awarded “Rubbish Redemption: This Project Isn’t Trash” the $6,000 first-place prize. Winnings will be used to endow future student-led sustainability projects at Rowland Hall. Read more about this project in another Fine Print story.

Designing a Meaningful Exchange Between Cultures

  1. Team: Keelan Kenny and 19 classmates
  2. Challenge: Educate the public on the Navajo Nation and dispel misunderstandings about its people and their culture. Learn about and understand the challenges of the Navajo Nation. The Navajo people are often incorrectly and often unfairly portrayed. Break down stereotypes, and prioritize solutions to large-scale problems.
  3. Process: Established a cultural exchange between Rowland Hall and the Navajo Nation. Work included planting gardens, volunteering in clinics, assisting the elderly, and researching water problems.
  4. Solution: The team created an informative documentary to portray the Nation’s hardships and challenges, as well as the joys of newfound cross-cultural friendships. Keelan also initiated a letter exchange between fourth graders on the Nation and in Salt Lake City, and is now working with five teachers to launch a year-long letter exchange.

Splore’s Rock On Program—Working with Children with Autism

  1. Team: Catherine Rogers and Kenzo Okazaki (mentors)
  2. Challenge: Help children on the autism spectrum become comfortable with physical challenges and develop confidence through sport. Aid in the development of emotional, cognitive, and physical skills through eight weeks of rock-climbing sessions at Splore.
  3. Process: The children climbed and rappelled a 50-foot-tall climbing wall. The mentors served as belayers and respected the children as athletes facing a challenge. By conquering the wall, the children developed increased self-esteem and became confident climbers.
  4. Solution: Developed a training video for Splore’s future volunteers. The video addresses the physical and psychological aspects of rock climbing, and the life skills of conquering fear and enjoying success.

The Common Ground

  1. Team: Oliver Jin and Knox Heslop
  2. Challenge: Give non-Natives a greater understanding of the vibrant Navajo culture as it exists today. Use filmmaking to tell stories, present issues, and light a spark of humanity in our world.
  3. Process: Documented the beauty of the Navajo land, tradition, and people. Instead of simply operating the camera, Oliver was personally drawn into the story of the Navajo people and culture.
  4. Solution: Made The Common Ground, a documentary about the Navajo past and present, their interpretation of the world, and their relationship with nature.

Music and Community Building with the Lincoln Street Orchestra

  1. Team: Will Matheson and the six other members of the Lincoln Street Jazz Company
  2. Challenge: Play live music to provide a routine source of joy in isolated communities. Use Lincoln Street Jazz Company’s distinctive genre of music to connect with older adults.
  3. Process: The jazz group sought out opportunities to perform and engage a community isolated from youth yet energized by it, using a playset common to both eras.
  4. Solution: Gave performances at senior centers and facilities, taking time to involve and interact with residents. Hope to pass idea along to other creative entities to involve an often-forgotten community.

Advocacy and Self-Expression Through Writing

  1. Team: Isaac Ball
  2. Challenge: Positively impact on the Navajo Nation through creative writing. Involve and expose students of Montezuma Creek Elementary to basic creative writing concepts that may get left out in favor of traditional composition-class curriculum.
  3. Process: Used academic experience in Rowland Hall’s creative writing classes and the school’s literary magazine to channel passion and develop writing class for younger Navajo students at Montezuma Creek Elementary.
  4. Solution: Create a year-long workshop to support personal storytelling through writing. View writing as a creative art form—provide an outlet for personal expression and a group platform for sharing Navajo cultural expression.

Refugee Student Tutoring Program

  1. Team: Anna Greenberg and Eleanor Mancheski
  2. Challenge: Meet the needs and struggles faced by refugee youth learning English. Implement a tutoring program at Hartland Partnership Center (HPC).
  3. Process: Used and improved a space where previous Project 11 students created a makeshift library. Added resources, taught reading skills and problem-solving, and built relationships.
  4. Solution: Expanded the library with books from Rowland Hall’s upper and middle school libraries. Forged relationships at HPC—encouraging both the students and Project 11 participants to continue building this partnership.

Top photo: A student trip to Bears Ears photographed by teacher Joel Long. For Project 11, Julia Villar and Rachel Morse, now seniors, produced a video to advocate for a Bears Ears national monument. Watch the video on the Utah Diné Bikéyah Facebook page.

Experiential Learning

Explore Our Most Recent Stories

Lower School student working on class project

In the newest episode of Rowland Hall’s award-winning princiPALS podcast, Beginning School Principal Emma Wellman and Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus discuss some of the most inspiring things they’ve learned (so far) while educating preschool- and elementary-aged children during the pandemic.

During the first months of in-person instruction since March, the princiPALS have learned a lot about the capability of children, the power of good teaching, and the strength of community.

Recorded during the 14th week of Rowland Hall’s 2020–2021 school year, Emma and Jij reflect on leading their divisions during the first months of in-person instruction since the school moved to full distance learning in March. During that time, they said, they’ve learned a lot about the capability of children, the power of good teaching, and the strength of community. And though they’re aware that schools across the country are dealing with different learning models and regional challenges, they believe that their perspectives on in-person learning during the pandemic may help other educators—as well as answer some of the many questions parents and caregivers have as schools readjust learning models in 2021.

“Our hope is that these important things we’ve learned are helpful to anyone out there,” said Jij.

The princiPALS also draw on their top lessons to create tips that will help parents and caregivers continue to support children (and themselves) at this time, with an emphasis on making intentional choices rather than, as Emma noted, “letting the world wash over you.”

Listen to “What We’re Learning about Learning during a Pandemic,” along with other episodes of princiPALS, on Rowland Hall's website, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Podcast

PrinciPALS Jij de Jesus and Emma Wellman on Rowland Hall's McCarthey Campus

Rowland Hall is pleased to announce that “How to Talk to Kids about Race,” the third episode of the school’s princiPALS podcast, won silver for a single podcast episode in the 2020 InspirED Brilliance Awards. This is Rowland Hall’s fifth Brilliance Award since 2017.

2020 InspirED Brilliance Award Winner badge


The InspirED School Marketers Brilliance Awards is the only international competition that recognizes excellence in private and independent school marketing and communications exclusively. Entries, divided into 30 categories, were judged by a volunteer panel of 69 marketing experts from around the world who are professionals in private schools or businesses that specialize in school marketing, and were scored on creativity, persuasiveness, design, copy, photography, and overall appeal. The judges chose “How to Talk to Kids about Race” for the timeliness of the subject, the strong advice presented to listeners, and the overall branding.

"The topic is timely and I appreciated hearing about the research and action items to take,” said one judge. Another commented, “Really smart advice, well-presented.”

PrinciPALS launched in October 2019 as a resource for parents and caregivers navigating common questions and concerns about the preschool and elementary school years. The podcast features Beginning School Principal Emma Wellman and Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus, and is hosted by alumnus Conor Bentley ’01. All episodes of princiPALS are available on Rowland Hall's website, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Podcast

Anna Shott receiving her high school diploma at graduation.

Alum Anna Shott ’16 sent the following email to middle and upper school computer science (CS) teacher Ben Smith ’89 on December 3, 2020. Anna graciously agreed to let us republish it here. We last interviewed Anna in 2016 when she was a senior taking her first CS class with Ben and enjoying the collaborative, problem-solving aspects of the field, which often gets falsely stereotyped as an antisocial and rote career choice. Ben has worked hard over nearly a decade to show his students—especially young women, who are underrepresented in the field—the reality: that programmers typically work together in teams to solve real-world problems and ultimately help people. This year, Ben is even weaving in social justice as a theme, using the Algorithmic Justice League as one of his teaching resources. We're grateful for Ben's dedication to CS education and can't wait to see what he and his former students like Anna do in the future. If you're an alum with a story about how a Rowland Hall teacher helped to inspire your career choice, let us know.


Dear Mr. Smith,

Hope you are doing well and enjoying a nice holiday season! I am reaching out with an update and to say thank you. 

After graduating from Rowland Hall in 2016 I took a gap year where I worked at my family's company and traveled. In 2017 I enrolled as a freshman at the University of Southern California studying computer science and business. The last two summers I interned at Microsoft, first as an Explore intern and then as a program management intern. I am now a senior finishing up my last few classes before graduation in May. Next fall I’m heading to Seattle to join Microsoft full-time as a program manager.

I would not have even thought to try out programming, let alone make computer science my undergraduate major and career priority, if it weren’t for the very first computer programming class you taught at Rowland Hall during my 2015–16 senior year.

I’ve spent much of my last four years participating in startup incubators, building companies, and exploring Los Angeles. I've stayed involved in the engineering community as a counselor for an on-campus computer science camp for K–12 students and as a teacher's assistant for one of USC's core software engineering classes. I would not have even thought to try out programming, let alone make computer science my undergraduate major and career priority, if it weren’t for the very first computer programming class you taught at Rowland Hall during my 2015–16 senior year. Your class truly influenced the path I chose, and I cannot thank you enough for sparking my interest in computer science.

I've had so much fun reading the various articles on the Rowland Hall website regarding the incredible computer science program you have built. Congratulations on the numerous accolades you and your students have earned over the years. I hope the program continues to grow and expose students to computer science and engineering, and ultimately inspire many to pursue a career path in those disciplines. 

I wish you and your family all the best and hope you are staying happy and healthy during this time.

Many thanks again, and happy holidays!

Sincerely,
Anna Shott
Class of 2016


Top: Anna Shott ’16 at her graduation, receiving her diploma from now-retired head of school Alan Sparrow.

Alumni

Sixth graders recording the original radio play "The Awakening."
 
Like all educators across the country, Rowland Hall theatre teacher Matt Sincell had to rethink his lesson plans after the COVID-19 pandemic derailed in-person learning in March.
With traditional classes and a spring production off the table, Matt found himself looking for ways to provide theatre experiences for students during quarantine. He decided to introduce them to radio plays, a completely acoustic type of theatre, which could be produced from their homes.

While the term radio play might bring to mind radio series from the 1930s and 1940s, this type of production still attracts audiences today—podcasts, for instance, are “sort of the modern-day version of a radio play,” Matt said. Stories told as radio plays also have lasting power: "The War of the Worlds," a Mercury Theatre on the Air radio episode based on the 1898 H.G. Wells novel of the same name, dramatized a Martian invasion and is remembered because of the fear it stirred when it aired in 1938. “It caused a nationwide panic when it was first performed. People actually thought we were being invaded by aliens,” said Matt.

In the early months of distance learning, Rowland Hall students began exploring this theatre form, ultimately creating an adaptation of the popular children’s book The Gruffalo (which was edited by seventh- and eighth-grade Arts & Ensembles theatre teacher Meighan Smith). Their work was shared with families and friends—and, thanks to Salt Lake City’s Plan-B Theatre Company, the wider community when it was featured on The City Library’s BiblioBoard. And as Matt planned for the 2020–2021 year—which he knew would still include distance learning in some form—he decided to continue the study of radio plays. “With students at home, in class, and, for some, distance learning only, it seemed the most likely class project to be able to complete,” he explained.

This fall, Matt assigned his sixth-grade Arts & Ensembles class the task of creating an original radio play. The result, The Awakening, is a 16-minute production written and performed by students Sebby Bamberger, Lila Bates, Josie Fonarow, Elayna Hoglund, Paulina Ize-Cedillo, Emery Lieberman, Elle Prasthofer, Morgan Schmutz, Sophie Smith, Izzy Utgaard, and Kate Weissman. The play, which took about two months to complete, was written in both the horror and comedy genres, explained Elayna.

“The inspiration for it was the story of ‘The Ghost with the Bloody Finger,’” she said, referencing a well-known campfire ghost story designed to make listeners laugh. Elayna said the sixth graders wanted to incorporate humor into their radio play because they knew their audience would be mostly made up of listeners who were middle-school-aged and younger. “We knew that it’d be more fun to have some funny in it.”

All 11 students were invested in the project, getting involved in the brainstorming, writing, and script editing required of a radio play. Although they weren’t able to do the close-contact acting techniques of a stage production, they did get to experience voice acting, with distance learners applying best practices to capture the cleanest sound possible by recording with blankets over their heads or by sitting inside a closet, and in-person learners utilizing a handmade, COVID-approved sound booth made of two stacked desks wrapped with a thick, padded moving blanket. (Blankets were changed and desks and equipment were sanitized between each recording session.)

“There was never a time that a student was directly interacting with another student, but we were able to create the illusion that they were indeed responding to each other,” said Matt, who edited The Awakening.

The students also learned the importance of sound effects in radio plays, which are key to bringing this art form to life. “The tricky thing about a radio play is that there, of course, is no visual to accompany it,” Matt explained, “so it's even more necessary to rely on our sense of sound to tell the story.” He had students experiment with Foley, a sound-making technique pioneered in the 1920s and still used today—Elayna captured the sound of a refrigerator door closing, a microwave beeping, and a candy wrapper crackling, while classmate Sophie recorded a door slamming, feet running on concrete, and her interpretation of a leprechaun laughing. Sophie said it felt good knowing that her sound effects helped make a difference in the finished recording. “It was pretty nice because you knew it was your work,” she said.

Art will find a way, even in the most challenging times.—Matt Sincell, theatre teacher

And that finished recording is impressive indeed. It’s a strong reminder of student creativity and ingenuity, even within a pandemic. “What they have been able to accomplish in the face of such adversity is really quite unique and wonderful,” said Matt.

The theatre teacher is hopeful that the radio play will also bring smiles to the larger community: on December 14, Matt announced that Jerry Rapier, Plan-B Theatre’s artistic director and a dedicated supporter of theatre education in Utah, had offered to again promote the Rowland Hall students’ work by linking The Awakening to The City Library’s BiblioBoard and to Plan-B’s mobile app.

“It's super exciting to once again have Plan-B Theatre support our students' work,” said Matt. “It’s nice to think that they are able to provide a 16-minute gift of joy to other students outside of the Rowland Hall community. It's proof that art will find a way, even in the most challenging times.”


Banner photo: Rowland Hall middle schoolers Lila Bates and Kate Weissman preparing to record lines of The Awakening.

Theatre

You Belong at Rowland Hall