East Lee County Receives Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative Classroom Resources Grant

East Lee County Receives Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative Classroom Resources Grant
Posted on 03/11/2019
East Lee County Receives Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative Classroom Resources Grant

East Lee County High School is going to establish a permanent theater program thanks to a Classroom Resources Grant from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative. The $9,669 grant will allow the school to purchase the tools needed for a set shop, buy costumes for future productions and manage their own props.

“This is a big deal,” says East Lee County Theater Teacher Dennis Hall. “We are the only school in this part of the country to get a grant and I’m really proud of that. I want to make it so kids who really like theater want to go to East Lee County High School.”

The fledging theater program at East currently relies on the generosity of other theater departments for sets, costumes and props. They are in the process of planning their spring play Love/Sick right now. The musical You’re a good man, Charlie Brown in the fall of 2019 will be the first performance where every aspect is handled in house because of the Classroom Resources Grant.

“I have seen this art form change lives,” Hall says. “I’m on a mission now. This is the biggest honor I’ve gotten as a teacher.”

East Lee County High School is located in an area of Lehigh Acres that has one of the highest concentrations of persons living below the 200% poverty threshold. The school itself has an 86% poverty rate.

“By creating a sustainable theatre program with funding, “East Lee County High School wrote in its application, “Residents of this area will be able to see in their students all the gifts that this particular art form can give and what it can do for the school overall.”

The American Theatre Wing presents the Tony Awards to Broadway’s best every year and uses theatre to advance human experience, empathy and cultural growth. The Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative provides students at all levels with enhanced theatre education to initiate meaningful relationships with theatre in childhood and open doors for pursuing theatre as children become young adults. Classroom Resources Grants provide funding directly to under-resourced public schools to purchase instruments, dance floors, lighting grids, and other necessary materials to help create and enhance existing theatre programs.