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Kinsella Arts, Inc.

Listing Last Update: February 23, 2016


65 Van Block Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106

Primary Contact

Joan Rogers

(860) 651-9096

Educational services

  • To find a family literacy program

Instruction Type

  • Family literacy program

Program Overview

Our goal is to focus on arts integration through a family literacy training program which offers a concrete vehicle for teacher, student, and parent engagement. The structure of the K-3rd Grade Family Literacy Training Sessions centers on a 6 week unit per grade which includes 6 days/events during the school year. Each day, the teaching artists will work with every grade, and come in contact with each class for one hour during the school day. The program also features two-hour parent nights. Students and their parents participate in a 2 hour workshop lead by the teaching artist and classroom teachers. Parent nights will highlight one piece of literature that both parents and students will interactively explore together. The evening will begin with a 30 minute dinner, followed by a 15 minute performance by national storyteller Tom Lee. The performance will be followed by a one-hour workshop and conclude with
the parents reading the book with their child during the last 15
minutes of the workshop. The families will keep the book after the workshop, and will be encouraged to read it again at home. The final 15 minutes of the workshop will resemble something of a book club where everyone will reflect on the story.

Mission Statement

Kinsella Arts, Inc. is a nonprofit organization operating exclusively to support the R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts(KMSPA) which utilizes comprehensive training, cultural exposure, and arts integration as the three strategic prongs of its approach. The curriculum is strongly integrated with the performing arts which act as the vehicle in making academic content relevant and pertinent in the lives of our students.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Parents have enthusiastically participated in these workshops, taking activities back into their homes and building literacy-rich environments for their families. Some of the parent comments that were captured following the workshops include:

- My daughter has always asked me to read with her, and now that she knows we can have fun together reading, there's no way out for me!

- I learned that having my child on my lap while I read will encourage her learning.

- I never thought of the concept of acting out the book character, and that made it so much more fun!

-The way that the teaching artist read the story gave me an idea of how I can read to my child.

- I learned to ask my child questions more, rather than just reading the book and going through it quickly

- I realized how much fun we can have reading together as a family by acting out scenes together

- We will begin to have a word of the day on our refrigerator

- Interacting with my child through programs like this makes my child feel closer to me and more excited to read and learn.

- It's important to shut off my cell phone and spend time reading with my child.

- Keep books in different places where kids are likely to get bored such as the bathroom, the car, the living room... books should be everywhere for them.

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

Currently, there are over 910 public school students between the grades of PreK and grade 12 who are enrolled at the R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts. Students come from over 49 zip codes in Connecticut including rural, suburban, and urban communities. 40% of the student body are from Hartford. Although 84.9% of our school qualifies for free lunch, all our students receive free lunch under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The diverse student body includes 39% of
students who are Hispanic or Latino and speak Spanish, 34% who are Black or African American, and 25% of students who are Caucasian. The remaining 2% of the student population includes students who are listed as Native American, Asian or other. There is no performing arts criteria for participation. All participants are accepted for enrollment through random lottery process completed by the Regional School Choice Office. For the current school year, KMSPA had over 2,800 applications for approximately 150 available seats. We have over 20 community partners who provide arts integration experiences with our students on a daily basis.

Program Status: