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press release 2016 august grant helps south bronx 10th graders build literacy and language skills : Press Release: 2016 August Grant Helps South Bronx 10th Graders Build Literacy and Language Skills



Media Contacts:      
Lisa Murray                                                                                            
Trevi Communications, Inc.
O: 978.750.0333                                                                             
M: 617.835.0396   

Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Grant Helps South Bronx 10th Graders Build Literacy and Language Skills

Boston, MA, August 18, 2016 – The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., a nonprofit, tax-exempt entity established by attorneys from the law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP, has awarded a Community Grant to the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters in New York City to support a literature and performing arts program focused on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Specifically, the grant will help purchase costumes, props, theatrical accessories, and stagecraft.

The project will showcase students’ knowledge of Macbeth by building expertise about a scene and then presenting what they have learned to an audience. Students will first read the play, accompanied by a graphic novel version of the text (with the original Elizabethan English) to assist in visualizing the scenes. Students will learn to recognize theatrical conventions and stage directions, and they will be encouraged to consider multiple staging options for the play and how differences in performance can shape meaning, tone, and subtext. Upon completion of the play, students will be required to select one scene in the play to demonstrate their knowledge of the play's complex themes.

John Farranto, a South Bronx 10th-grade English teacher and grant applicant, said, “The vast majority of my students will be the first in their family to attend college. Access to culturally significant texts is crucial, and it's important to provide them with engaging entry points to intellectually challenging and meaningful work. This multi-modal project centered around Shakespeare's Macbeth will connect a group of high schoolers in the South Bronx to language, literacy, and culture that will, undoubtedly, open up other doors in their minds and hearts.”

Al Wallis, Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp, said, “We are pleased to support this innovative educational program, and we are excited to see how Shakespeare’s Macbeth will be used to enhance students’ literacy and language abilities, while promoting the arts.”

Created to support front-line educators who often do not have a voice in funding decisions, the Community Grants subsidize small, concrete projects, which will improve inner-city education within Boston, Hartford, London, Orange County, Providence, New York, or Washington DC within the coming year. The Foundation will generally consider grant applications monthly and award grants in an amount totaling not more than $2000 in any one month. The grant applications and an explanation of the program can be found at

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