Sharon Faber, theater and ESOL teacher at Watkins Mill High School, has won a $4,900 grant from the Wolf Trap Foundation. Faber’s project, called Theater to Heal, is focused on Emergent Multilingual Learner (EML) students. Theater to Heal will nurture a sense of community and connectedness, make students feel more anchored in the present, and let their stories and voices be heard in a culminating presentation or reflection piece.
Students will take part in a drama residency or master classes that speak to their cultural perspectives and personal beliefs, such as Signature Theater’s program in Contemporary Immigration Issues. They will also attend a live professional show at a local theater, where they will see the many aspects that go into a full-fledged production and explore how to incorporate their own voices and aesthetic sense into a performance.
Faber has also been a recipient of the Montgomery County Board of Education’s Award for Distinguished Service to Public Education for her work with EML students. When Faber began teaching at WMHS in 2016, she created the first-ever theater course designed for new immigrants to the county. She developed a full-year arts elective curriculum for ESOL students. In the last 6 years, Faber has been able to uplift and expose nearly 600 English language learners to the innovative theater program, creating a sense of community and safe space for immigrant youth to share their stories and feel welcome.
Courtesy of MCPS