SSC’s ImagineARTS Program Distributes 10,000th Book

Children in Dawn Miller’s kindergarten class at the Manthala George Elementary School in Brockton pose with their books after their 45-minute class with SSC ImagineARTS Specialist, Holly Jennings. Courtesy image.

Celebrating six years of arts-integrated literacy partnerships – South Shore Conservatory (SSC) recently celebrated six years of partnership with the Brockton Public Schools by handing out its 10,000th children’s book to kindergarteners participating in its ImagineARTS program.

Developed in partnership with Brockton teachers, ImagineARTS, South Shore Conservatory’s arts-integrated literacy program, is SSC’s flagship community partnership program, serving over 4,000 preschool and kindergarten children since 2012.   Every week, SSC arts specialists provide arts-integrated literacy instruction using music, drama, dance and stories to promote important pre-reading skills. Classes are story-based: lessons focus on a picture book through which specific letters, vocabulary words, and literacy concepts are explored.

To help bridge the gap between school and home, SSC annually provides each kindergartener at its five partner schools (Arnone, Angelo, Baker, George, and Gilmore) four books from its core curriculum.  During the last week of May, 720 students received their own copy of “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain” by Verna Aardema.  During their ImagineARTS class, children learned the African folk tune Funga Alafia in English and Swahili, acted out action words in the story by floating like feathers and flying like eagles, and sang the rhyming song. Parents receive a newsletter outlining these activities and offering suggestions for ideas to try at home.

Dawn Miller, an ImagineARTS Partner Teacher at the George School says, “My students (and their parents) are so very thrilled to get the great books from ImagineARTS!  The students love that they know the story from their class with Miss Holly, and they are so proud to show off their knowledge to their parents.  The books are an important part of our curriculum.  The stories are familiar and easy to build units around.  Some rhyme, some have great characters, some are just fun to read.  The students respond very well to them.”

ImagineARTS is provided free of charge to partner schools through the generosity of local friends, business sponsors and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. For more information, contact Anne Smith, SSC Director of Community Engagement, at

For more information about all SSC programs and events, visit or follow South Shore Conservatory on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

About South Shore Conservatory

South Shore Conservatory (SSC) has been providing access to and enriching the lives of South Shore residents through music and the arts for over 45 years. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest not-for-profit, community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving over 4,000 students of all ages and abilities at its two beautiful campuses and in partnership with schools, and social service and community agencies throughout the South Shore.

Students participate in more than 50 diverse programs in music, dance and drama, with performance playing an important role in overall education. With more than 100 exceptional musicians on faculty, SSC offers 30 professionally produced concerts annually.  Through innovative partnerships, SSC’s Creative Arts Therapies department supports the mental, emotional, and physical health of some of our community’s underserved members, and the ImagineARTS program strengthens pre-reading skills for young learners in Brockton Schools through integrated music and dramatic play.

SSC’s campuses are located at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham, (781) 749-7565, 64 St. George Street, Duxbury, (781) 934-2731, and 135 Webster Street, Hanover, (781) 421-6162. SSC programs are supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information call us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram or visit

In keeping with SSC’s inclusive mission to provide access to quality education in the arts for all, the Conservatory offers programs for all segments of the population to enjoy, regardless of age, ability, geography, and financial means.  Furthermore, South Shore Conservatory admits students and families of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.