Brownsville school receives grant from Disney

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Brownsville students got to belt out the classics from “The Lion King,” thanks to a grant P.S. 396K received from Disney

P.S. 396K was one of more than 100 schools that applied, and was chosen with four other schools in New York City for the Disney Musicals In School grant.  It’s also the only school in District 75 to receive the grant, which helped put on the play.

“In the past, we've used about 30 students. With this grant, it's allowed us to use 60 students and also we're able to use students,” says Rachel McCaulsky, arts coordinator and director of the show.

It provides free performance materials and professional development to under-resourced public elementary schools. The school was able to choose from a handful of Disney shows, and felt “The Lion King” would fit.

"We've also implemented 'The Lion King' into our curriculum so it wasn’t just putting together a show, but it was embedded in all of our ELA work that we did with our students,” says McCaulsky.

Most of the students have special needs, but staff was blown away at how well they performed.

“Some need assistance, but to actually see that several of them actually memorized scripts and are able to actually, you know, act it out and speak it out is amazing,” says Principal Dr. Keisha McCoy-Dailey.

Teaching artists came in to train staff on putting together a show, which then helped students.

The students will also perform on Broadway next week.

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