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Our Journey from 1974 to the Present

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  • 1974: A team of Jersey City artists carry out art and drama workshops in city sponsored youth centers and at a summer day camp.

  • 1975 to 1978: In response to a request from principals concerned about racial tensions in the high schools, Carmine Tabone develops a city-wide youth theater program to promote tolerance and respect for others. The Company produces a series of original musical comedies at the Little Theater on Mercer St. in downtown Jersey City.

  • 1979 to 1985: Several elementary schools invite the team to create a program to celebrate cultural diversity and mutual respect. The team develops Children of the World in which actors and students present stories from different cultures in large assembly programs. Students learn songs, make costumes, and present dances as part of the stories. Carmine writes an article for the Youth Theatre Journal, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1991 about the project.

  • 1981: The team of artists incorporates as the Educational Arts Team, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

  • 1983: The Team receives an award from Save the Children Foundation for the Camp Liberty summer program.

  • 1985 to 1990: The Team presents a series of puppet plays in housing projects, schools, libraries and day care centers throughout Jersey City.

  • 1986: The Team receives a Special Achievement citation from the American Alliance of Theatre and Education.

  • Late 1980s and early 1990s: The Team invites a number of British and Irish drama educators and theater companies to visit Jersey City. Among these is the internationally known Gavin Bolton who worked side by side with Dorothy Heathcote to develop a new style of drama in education. This collaboration leads to the development of the Bringing Literature to Life program.

  • 1995: The Educational Arts Team joins The American Alliance for Theatre Educators (AATE), a national association of children’s theater companies, university theater programs, and teaching artists.

  • 1996: CTN’s Classroom Close-Up, affiliated with the New Jersey Educational Association, features The Bulls of Altamira, a workshop from our Bringing Literature to Life Project on its cable television show.

  • 1998 to 2008: Carmine is interviewed on the topic of the value of arts in education on a series of Meet the Newsmakers, a Comcast Cable local and state news program. 

  • 1999 to 2002: The team presents Pop-Up Puppet Theater in every 3rd grade classroom in the Jersey City Public Schools. Student test results rise dramatically as a result of the program. Carmine documents the project by writing an article for the Youth Theatre Journal, Vol. 18, 2004.

  • 2000 to 2005: The team develops Television Productions to deal with violence and substance abuse in middle schools. The program includes the creation of short videos on these topics written by and featuring students in the project. Additionally, the team does a series of a series of professional development workshops and classroom demonstrations for teachers in the East Orange, Orange and Newark public elementary schools


  • 2005: The team partners with the Jersey City Public Schools Department of Visual and Performing Arts on a three-year theatre arts and literacy integration program for fourth and fifth grade teachers and students funded by the United States Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination program. Evaluators from Seton Hall University report significant academic, pro-cognitive and pro-social improvement for 550 participating students in contrast to a control group of the same number. Some highlights from the report are as follows:

    • Approximately 90% of 5th grade students who were in the Theater Infusion Project in the 4th and 5th grades passed the language arts section of NJASK 5, in contrast to only 71% of students who were never exposed to the project.

    • 17% of 5th graders who were part of the Theater Infusion Projects as 4th graders were advance proficient in language arts, only 2% of 5th graders who were not in the Theater Infusion Project when they were in the 4th grade had performance levels that fell in the advance proficient category.

    • The team produces a handbook for fourth and fifth grade teachers, the Magic Circle of Drama, and a training DVD to mark the completion of the three-year project.

  • 2008 to 2011: The team continues its partnership with the Jersey City Public Schools by developing and implementing a second arts integration three-year project, this one for 6th and 7th grade students. The results on standardized test scores in language arts and math are significantly higher for participating students than for control groups.

  • 2010 to 2014: The Jersey City Public Schools receives a third arts integration grant to partner with the Educational Arts Team to improve teaching methods and increase student literacy in the second and third grades. Some results from project are striking: In language arts NJASK test scores for third graders in treatment schools (3, 25, 28, 12, 34, and 22) increased results from 38.4% (2011) proficient to 55.6% (2012) for a gain of 17.2%. In contrast control schools (6, 11, 23, 30, 20, and 29) increased from 42.2% proficient to 54.8% for a gain of 8.2%.

  • 2010 to Present: The Turrell Fund provides funding for a Family Literacy Events, a storytelling and puppetry program for families of young children. The project promotes positive family interaction and lays the foundation for a love of reading and learning through shared storytelling and art activities.

  • 2015 to Present: Thanks to grants from the Jersey City Public Schools, the city of Jersey City and the Geraldine R Dodge foundation, EAT continues to work with teachers in grades K-12 on ways of integrating highly engaging arts strategies with their students.

  • 2019: Educational Arts Team partners with Jersey City’s Cultural Affairs department, Jersey City Public Libraries and 40 local organizations on a Big Read project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • 2019: The Team develops a teen theater company with the Jersey City Public Schools high school theater arts program that is funded by the city of Jersey City. 40 teens participate and present 15 scary tales as part of a Halloween weekend of community events.















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