Residency Program Awarded VT Grant

Category Archives: Residences

Residency Program Awarded VT Grant

A partnership between Circus Smirkus and the Winooski (VT) School District has been awarded a grant from the Vermont Agency of Education to demonstrate how an engaging learning opportunity – like the circus arts – can support a school’s shift toward personalized learning experiences for students. This change encourages students to take ownership and responsibility for their own learning and educational goals. In this project, Circus Smirkus and the Winooski Middle School will be aligning their offerings around important content and skills and developing ways to track students’ individual progress toward their learning goals. As an engaging series of skills that…

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Update From Nettie Lane, Residency Artist

I am working at a school in Vermont right near the border of Canada and New Hampshire. It’s cold and snowy over here, but something happened that warmed my heart. I have one student who is in a wheelchair and doesn’t have much muscle or muscle control. It is difficult for her to lift things. Yesterday, we worked together on finding ways to adapt the activities. We cut a stick down making it a lot shorter and worked out a plate spinning routine. Today, her mother found me before my class to say ‘thank you.’ The circus magic had taken…

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Jackie Davis, volunteer extraordinaire!

With Ringmaster Residencies, Circus Smirkus joins students in the classroom with an artist-in-residency program that enlivens the classroom with the magic and joy of the circus while using the “CircusSecrets” to teach kids important life skills. These strategies are helping kids to develop their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships within the teaching framework of Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL for short. Educational researchers have shown that improvements in SEL are correlated with increased  engagement and improved performance in the classroom. In partnership with Cirque du Soleil and the American Youth Circus Organization, we’re working on a study to demonstrate the…

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Reinventing Ringmaster Residencies

Students demonstrate their spinning plate skills at a final 2016 Ringmaster Residency performance. Circus Smirkus comes into classrooms year-round to offer artist-in-residency programs that  use the circus arts to enliven the classroom, promote the arts and teach life skills to students throughout New England and beyond. While teaching circus skills, Ringmaster Residencies also introduces the “Circus Secrets,” engaging learning strategies that every child can use to improve their ability to gain new skills and concepts. Now that the Every Student Succeeds Act has replaced No Child Left Behind, and many states are adopting the National Core Arts Standards, Circus Smirkus…

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Smirkus and Rick Davis Fan, Anna Doucet Pays Tribute

When it came time to complete her class project, Smirkus Camper Anna Doucet wrote about her favorite subject, circus. In this essay, she writes a beautiful tribute to our late Residency Director, Rick Davis. Please enjoy.  Rick Davis Anna Doucet, 2015 For my study on circus, I did an essay about Rick Davis, a former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performer and former director of the Circus Smirkus Residency program. Rick Davis is a truly exceptional man and his many stories amazed me. While I couldn’t have put them all into this paper, I took some of my favorites. During…

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