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Jason Rapp

‘Learning Why’ provides S.C. quality arts ed lessons

Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, SCETV partner for students


A collaboration between the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project (ABC) Project and SCETV is thrilled to highlight great teachers through the in-state television network's "LearningWhy." 

The partnership stems from a singular belief: all students in South Carolina deserve a quality arts education. Through the generosity of great teachers like Elise Helms sharing great lessons, that goal is possible. ABC Project’s mission is to provide leadership to achieve quality arts education for all students. For the past 32 years, ABC Project has worked with schools and districts across the state to invest resources in teacher professionalism to design and create standards-based, quality arts and arts-integrated lessons. As a part of this investment and mission, ABC Project has aimed to collect and publish exemplary lessons that can be shared across the state. Through the partnership with SCETV "LearningWhy," lesson plans are reviewed by content specialists within ABC's network, and then vetted by SCETV for publication. The lessons submitted are from South Carolina Arts Commission ABC Advancement grant applicants who received a top score on a submitted lesson. This year, ABC Project had one teacher who was published. Veteran music teacher Elise Helms’ music lesson, "Making Music with the Pout, Pout Fish," is the culminating lesson on how music can help tell a story. This 2nd-grade lesson asks students to contemplate the question, “how can we use instrument sounds to enhance our storytelling?” Helms’ lesson skillfully combines the use of various classroom percussion instruments along with The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen to guide students as they explore both storytelling and instrumental music. To check out "Making Music with the Pout, Pout Fish," along with other great one-to-one lessons, you can visit www.learningwhy.org. The ABC Project is a long-standing partnership among the South Carolina Arts Commission, Winthrop University, and the South Carolina Dept. of Education.
Helms, a 33-year veteran elementary music educator who has made music education her life's work, feels passionately about the arts being a part of every child's elementary school experience and beyond. Currently, at AC Moore Elementary School in Columbia (Richland One School District), she taught at Irmo Elementary (District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties), where she was chosen Teacher of the Year in 2003. Among her many leadership contributions, she served as lead teacher for District 5 Elementary Music teachers, president of the Elementary Division of South Carolina Music Educators Association, and coach for the Curriculum Leadership Institute for the Arts. She is the co-founder of the District 5 Elementary Honor Choir which was chosen to participate in the Celebration of States in Washington for two different years. Helms earned a bachelor's of music education from Newberry College and a master's in education in administration from the UofSC.

New SCETV show to feature South Carolina writers

"By the River" debuts Thursday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m.

South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) and the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) announced a collaborative television show, "By The River," which premieres next month. Recorded at ETV Lowcountry studio in Beaufort, "By The River" is an innovative interview-style show hosted by Holly Bounds Jackson (right), director of content and operations at ETV Lowcountry.  It’s produced by Dr. Caroline E. Sawyer, assistant professor of communication studies at USCB. The school's communication studies students round out the "By the River" crew.

BONUS CONTENT: View the preview video here.

By The River features interviews with Lowcountry authors including Dorthea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, Alexia Helsley, Lauren Rule Maxwell, Tim Conroy, Ray McManus, Stephanie Austin Edwards, Bernie Schein, John Warley, Ellen Malphrus, Jim Jordan, Alan Chaput, Nina Leipold, Nelle & Ora Smith, & Roger Newman. The interviews are followed by a Lowcountry Poet’s Corner featuring poems read by Lowcountry poets including Tim Conroy, Ellen Malphrus, Ray McManus, and Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s poet laureate. “This show is really what ETV is all about: providing informative, South Carolina-focused programming, while educating students all at once.  By The River takes ETV’s partnership with USCB to a new level,” Bounds Jackson said.

Professional experience for USCB students

"By The River" is recorded using a virtual set and USCB communication studies students as production staff. USCB communication studies students who worked on the show include Shelby Blencoe, Ian Borton, Leslee Brown, Louis Brown, Whisper Brown, Craig Capano, Hanna Crist, Cassie Headden, Shelby Kalinowsky, Erica Martin, Joshua Ward, & Rebecca Warth. The students each play a vital role in the show’s success.  Tasks included running teleprompter, operating cameras, directing the show and lining up guests. “We know employers want to hire students who have both a degree and experience. This show gives our students hands-on work on a professionally-produced show,” Sawyer said.  “This experience strongly supports our university’s mission and fits into our Students Connected program in that it provides an unparalleled learning experience in the community.”