"WETA's Hometown Heroes" Features Inna Shapiro Washington, D.C. - Inna Shapiro, founder and artistic director of Classika Theatre in Arlington, is the focus of a month-long "WETA's Hometown Heroes" profile airing in April.WETA
dedication to improving literacy through the creation of innovative programs in local public schools.Her
profile premieres Friday, April 2, just before "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" at 7 p.m., on WETA TV 26 and will repeat throughout the month. Shapiro
emigrated from Russia to the United States 25 years ago, learning English after she
arrived.Since then, she
has not only mastered the language but has championed literacy in area schools through the development and implementation of programs that aid 700 at-risk students in Arlington and Alexandria each week. Shapiro started Classika Theatre's educational outreach program to help students improve literacy skills, develop individual study patterns and enhance performance on standardized tests.
These goals are accomplished through three unique programs designed by Shapiro
- Literacy Through Arts (LITarts), Social Studies: VA Education Through Arts (SS VETA) and ARTsmarts.
In addition to creating programs for schools, Shapiro
has created numerous thought-provoking productions for school-age children at Classika Theatre
has adapted popular children's books to the stage, such as The Little Prince, Karlsson on the Roof and The King's Stag.Shapiro's belief that high-quality literary works can help children cultivate a life-long passion for books and reading has encouraged her
to make such works a staple in Classika Theatre's
season.Other efforts to engage children in theatrical productions include her
development of Classika's
Green Parrot Puppet Theatre.Visit weta.org/heroes to learn more about Shapiro
, and to support or learn more about the Classika Theatre
, visit www.classika.org.