By: Chris Brunner
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts recently honored volunteers who donate their time to one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the United States, which serves more than 130,000 students annually.
Many of the programs are presented in partnership with Broward County Public Schools. Among those attending the luncheon to thank the volunteers were School Board Member Ann Murray, Director of Athletics and Student Activities Shawn Cerra, Community Relations Coordinator Broward Technical Colleges Lynn Goldman, Director of Innovative Programs Leona Miracola, Turnaround Arts Coordinator Laura Glick, Arts Curriculum Supervisor Donna Haynes and Music Curriculum Specialist Joe Luechauer.
Fort Lauderdale resident Lorraine Schramm was named Education Volunteer of the Year. Broward County Public Schools Bus Transportation Director Thomas Kearney received the Distinguished Service Award for his years of service overseeing the buses that bring students to the educational performances at the Broward Center.
Broward Center President and CEO Kelley Shanley noted the Broward Center had enhanced its educational offerings this year with the presentation of its first sensory-friendly performance. He also read a letter from Black Violin co-founder Kev Marcus, who saw his first performance at the Broward Center and credits the experience to setting him on a career path and inspiring him to ensure Black Violin offers educational opportunities to students where it performs.
“On any given day, any given student could be one whose life is about to be changed forever by an introduction to the arts,” said Shanley. “Thank you for all you do to help us and serve the community.”
Students from Walker Elementary School who participated in the national Turnaround Arts Program performed for the guests. That program to bring arts education into low-performing schools is offered by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, private foundations and local partners such as the Broward Center and Broward County Public Schools. The students had the honor of performing at the Kennedy Center in March.
Volunteers, including Tamarac residents, who attended the luncheon in the Mary N. Porter Riverview Ballroom at the Broward Center enjoyed meals prepared and served by students from the culinary arts department of McFatter Technical College.
Volunteering for the Broward Center’s programs for school children is perfect for retired educators and parents who want to remain involved in shaping students’ lives. For more information about becoming a volunteer, contact the volunteer office at 954.468.2684 or e-mail email@example.com.
Chris has been a contributing writer at Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk since 2015 beginning back in high school. He is a resident of Coral Springs and is currently attending college.