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School integrates performing & visual arts with core subjects
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Lori Kelley Tubbs is singing the praises of a solid education these days.

The Manteca resident is an instructor with the Foundations Visual & Performing Arts program that is under the umbrella of Venture Academy Family of Charter Schools operated by the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

The school’s curriculum is designed to capitalize on a student’s interest in the visual and performing arts to get them more attuned to core subjects such as math, English, and science. 

“They (students) don’t have to excel in the arts but need to have a strong interest,” Tubbs said.

The philosophy is that if students take a strong interest in a particular area that by integrating it throughout the curriculum that it will result in stronger performances not just in their chosen field but in traditional academics as well. But when all is said and done, Tubbs said the bottom line is to graduate students well-versed in academics who have the personal skill sets to succeed and not performing artists per se.

All of the core classes within the Foundations framework are centered on visual and performing arts.

“That may mean in English when we are in involved with drama (in the performing arts class) that they may write a script,” Tubbs pointed out.

The idea is to demonstrate the need for a strong foundation in math, science, and English skills in order to choose in whatever career path students may end up taking.

But Tubbs said the biggest gain after academics may not be in turning out actors, singers, and artists whether it is with a camera or a brush but teens who gain tremendous confidence through the engaging and integrated course of study.

Tubbs said often students will have a hard time looking someone in the eye when they first join the school program. Sometimes they have difficulty speaking to others. By the time they graduate, students have confidence, will be more outgoing, and will be much more articulate and able to express themselves clearly.

They are all personal skills, Tubbs noted, needed to succeed not just in college or additional courses of study but in the workplace as well.

Other teachers in Foundations Visual & Performing Arts are Ryan Teicheira, Dionne McDonald, and Adrian McDaniel, and Andrea Jacobs.

Admission is open when space is available throughout the year to 9th through 12th graders in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Contra Costa, Alameda, and Calaveras counties. Tubbs noted a sizeable number of students in the classes hail from Manteca and Ripon. More information is available by calling 468-5940. Classes are conducted at the county office complex on Arch Road just eight miles north of Manteca of Highway 99 near Stockton Metro Airport.

The visual and performing arts program is conducting a wine tasting fundraiser on Friday, Oct, 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Delicato Family Winery at French Camp Road and Highway 99 to raise funds for various field trips.

Dancers and choirs have competed at the Heritage Festival in Southern California and the Bay Area. Students also take trips to the theater district in San Francisco. Tickets are $20 for the wine tasting and are available by contacting Tubbs and or calling 479-6904.