Gifts to the School of Education Annual Fund have been invaluable during COVID-19. This support allowed the school to shift teaching, research, and outreach programs to online platforms.
Whoopensocker is a theater arts education residency program focused on creativity, expression, writing, and collaboration. Professor Erica Halverson, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and her team of teaching artists typically work in-person with elementary-age students and their teachers utilizing performing and creative arts to design innovative classroom experiences.
However, in response to COVID-19 and with support from the annual fund, Halverson and her team moved Whoopensocker online. The team created a YouTube channel to share videos of performances. They also developed a podcast that features stories from their first residency in 2016, newly adapted by the cast of actors. This past year, students worked on their written pieces at home while virtually interacting with the Whoopensocker team. They concluded their projects by having a Facebook Live watch party.