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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 14 December 2012

Children at Rosa Parks Elementary had the chance this week to see their own true stories performed by professional actors.  

A team of actors from Curious Comedy have been working with the students over the last few weeks, under the guidance of third Grade teacher Julie Sparling.

Working on the stories has been a great opportunity to teach students writing and editing skills, Sparling said. With stand-up comedy experience herself, Sparling has many friends in Portland's theater world. So when her friend, Rick Huddle asked if she knew any teachers who could benefit from working with his team, she leapt at the opportunity.

"Maybe he didn't think of me at first as a teacher who needed more hands on deck," Sparling said. "But we did because due to funding cuts we had a pretty large class size in the fall."

The 3rd grade students have been drafting, revising, and editing true stories from their own lives. And this week they had the opportunity to see them adapted for the stage and performed by professional actors.

The collaboration was made possible through a program called Play on Words or POW!  POW was created by staff at Curious Comedy Theater and was funded in part by a grant from Regional Arts and Culture Council and the Oregon Arts Commission. Curious Comedy also worked with students at Ockley Green School. Students and their families came to Rosa Park school, Thursday evening Dec. 13, to see their plays staged by professional actors.

A public performance of the stories, written by students from both Rosa Parks and Ockley Green schools will run at 2 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 15, at Curious Comedy theater, 5225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Portland, OR 97211

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