Florida Grand Opera offers FREE Literacy Program

"Read Along, Sing a Song" Brings Books to Life through the Arts

Florida Grand Opera (FGO) continues to solidify its commitment to education and the community by partnering with the Miami-Dade County Public Library System and the Broward County Public Library System to offer a FREE literacy program running through the 2011-2012 season.

The “Read Along, Sing a Song” program is designed for children ages five through eight, walking them through a pre-selected story and incorporating elements from different artistic disciplines found within opera. As the children read, they may be instructed to pick up an instrument, follow a dance or sing to a melody during a high point of the story, making reading even more engaging and fun.

The sessions will be led by FGO’s Teaching Artists, Julia Swindoll and Kyaunnee Richardson. Swindoll, or “Miss Julie”, is an enthusiastic educator and musician certified to work with children ages birth through five and will soon complete her Bachelor in K-12 Music Education from Florida International University. Richardson is an undergraduate in her senior year at New World School of the Arts College and studies opera and vocal performance.

Designed to cater to underserved communities, the program is offered at no cost at libraries in Broward. To maximize the learning experience, sessions are limited to 25 children each. Reservations can be made in advance by contacting FGO Education Manager, Cerise Sutton, at csutton@fgo.org or 305-854-1643 ext. 1100. For specific dates and other details, see the table below or visit www.FGO.org/education.








“Possum Come a-Knockin” by Nancy Van Laan

Main Library, 101 W Flagler St., Miami, FL 33130



“The Nutcracker” illustrated by Alison Jay

Hispanic Branch, 1398 SW 1 St., Miami, FL 33135



“What a Wonderful World” by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele

South Miami Branch, 6000 Sunset Dr., Miami, FL 33143



“Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears” as told by Verna Aardema

Naranja Branch, 14850 SW 280 St., Naranja, FL 33032



“Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk” an Irish tale by Gerald McDermott

Golden Glades Branch, 100 NE 166 St., Miami, FL 33162



"Little Red Riding Hood"

Pinecrest Branch, 5835 SW 111 St., Pinecrest, FL 33156








"Little Red Riding Hood"

Southwest Regional Library, 16835 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33331 



“The Nutcracker” illustrated by Alison Jay

Lauderhill Towne Centre Library, 6399 W. Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill, FL 33313



“What a Wonderful World” by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele

Tamarac Library, 8701 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, FL 33351



“Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears” as told by Verna Aardema

North Lauderdale Saraniego Branch, 6901 Kimberly Blvd. North Lauderdale, FL 33068



“Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk” an Irish tale as told by Gerald McDermott

Miramar Branch Library, 2050 Civic Center Place, Miramar, FL 33025




South Regional Library, 7300 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, FL. 33024


About Florida Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera was formed in June 1994 by the merger of Greater Miami Opera, founded in 1941, and The Opera Guild Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, founded in 1945. Celebrating its 71st season of continuous performances during the 2011-2012 season, Florida Grand Opera stands as one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Florida. In addition to producing standard repertoire, Florida Grand Opera also presents lesser known operas, as well as commissions and produces new operas. Annually, main stage performances are attended by nearly 70,000 people, and education and outreach programs serve over 50,000 students. FGO offers several highly successful outreach and educational programs, including its internationally-recognized Young Artist Studio. Founded in 1984, the program attracts young singers who train and enhance their professional skills during a 35-week Miami residency.

Florida Grand Opera, recognized for funding by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided, in part, by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Program support is provided by the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council. Florida Grand Opera is a Resident Company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and a member company of OPERA America. American Airlines is the Official Airline, Intercontinental Miami is the Official Hotel and Steinway & Sons is the Official Piano of Florida Grand Opera. For more information on Florida Grand Opera, visit us at www.FGO.org.


About the Miami-Dade Public Library System

The Miami-Dade Public Library System, the 8th largest in the U.S., and a recipient of the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, strives to be the compelling community destination by providing a five-star customer service experience. With 49 branches and two bookmobiles, the library aims to reach every resident of Miami-Dade County who has a desire for informational, educational or recreational materials. The library offers access to a collection of more than 3.5 million books and materials, 1,735 public computers, 120 Self-Checkout machines and Wi-Fi at every location. Each year, the library system presents thousands of public programs, including the Art of Storytelling International Festival, literacy programs for adults and children, art exhibitions and classes in technology.  The library proudly serves more than eight million visitors who come through its doors annually, and another 4.4 million who access collections and services through its website www.mdpls.org


About the Broward County Public Library System:

The award-winning Broward County Libraries Division, founded in 1974, is the ninth largest library system in the nation by population served and one of the busiest, with more than 9 million walk-in customers visiting its 36 locations annually. The library has more than 3.4 million items and 2,000 computers for public use and offers hundreds of events and programs to meet the needs of the Broward County's diverse community. The library continues its strong emphasis on literacy, after-school programs and electronic access. A comprehensive Web site, www.broward.org, provides information about library activities and links to online catalogs, reference information and databases, and customers are also encouraged to follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter. Libraries Division also administers the services, programs, collections and exhibits of the Historical Commission. For more information, visit www.broward.org/library. 

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