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Good Works: Undergraduates take Shakespeare to elementary schools

Boise State undergraduate students expose local elementary students to the world of William Shakespeare. Photo courtesy of Matthew Hansen.

Boise State undergraduate students expose students at Taft Elementary to the world of William Shakespeare. Photo courtesy of Matthew Hansen.

“Shake It Up After School” is a collaboration between Title I elementary schools in Boise and Professor Matthew Hansen’s undergraduate Shakespeare courses at Boise State University. The program works specifically with Title I designation elementary schools because they serve economically struggling and culturally diverse populations.

The program began in 2006 and has received several grants from area foundations including the City of Boise’s Department of Arts & History, the Charlotte Martin Foundation, and the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. Local businesses, including the Apple Street Pizza Hut and Boise Fry Company, have supported the program with cash or in-kind donations.

Over the course of seven weeks, Boise State undergraduates and elementary school students explore the artistic, historical, and cultural importance of Shakespeare.

The elementary students, read, discuss, rehearse, and perform a Shakespeare play under the leadership and coaching of Boise State undergraduates.

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