BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Students from Bridgeport's Jettie Tisdale School got the thrill of lifetime Wednesday, performing with Yankee icon Bernie Williams at the annual White House Talent Show.
The children sang with the former centerfielder after Hall School Principal Cynthia Fernandes told the audience how she and dedicated parents and faculty at her school, the oldest in the city, recently made a successful plea to keep Hall open.
The performance was part of the Turnaround Arts program, a national effort through the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities to integrate art, dance, music and theater across school curricula.
Studies show an average 12.6 percent increase in reading proficiency and a 22.5 percent improvement in math through infusion of the arts in schools.
Tusdale School joined the national effort in 2015.
“Turnaround Arts has enabled us to foster community partnerships and increase our parental involvement,” said Principal Charmaine Worthy.
Since joining the program, Tisdale students put together the Modern Rock Band and put on several visual art exhibitions and the school’s first musical, “Willy Wonka, Jr.” The school has seen a 24 percent increase in oral fluency and attendance has been over 90 percent each month this year, school officials said.
Williams, who is also a jazz musician, has visited the school over the year, lending inspiration and musical know-how to the students. On Friday, the group is scheduled to unveil a music video of Williams playing the Sly and the Family Stone hit “Everyday People” with the children.
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