Clark Teacher Presents Workshop On Puppetry At New Jersey School Boards Conference

Arthur L. Johnson High School Art Teacher Bryan Klimchak shares his puppetry program with two visiting educators who stopped by his presentation. (Photo courtesy of Clark Public Schools)

CLARK — Arthur L. Johnson High School Art Teacher Bryan Klimchak presented a puppetry workshop this past week at the annual New Jersey School Boards Association Conference in Atlantic City. The conference, the largest gathering of educators in the state, provided presentations of exemplary programming ideas that might be adopted by other districts.

Klimchak’s puppetry workshop involves students developing their skills in language through their investigation of the art and craft of puppetry. Students construct and manipulate shadow puppets, marionettes, and hand puppets and around stories that have been created by students. Students learn to work cooperatively through a sequence that culminates in a production. The production instills a sense of commitment and responsibility.

This course includes presentations at local schools, hospitals, and township events. Puppetry Workshop provides a voice for all students. Through the puppets, students are able to express their ideas through written and oral means. They build confidence while developing performance skills. Puppetry workshop has been especially beneficial to special education students who do not always meet with academic success. In addition to servicing these students, the program also lends itself to the district’s character education program. Through their puppets, students teach their peers about respect and responsibility through varied skits.

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