Introducing our Director - Mr. Cranston Dodds!
What does the Penguin Project mean to you?
Cran Dodds, Director of the Penguin Project
Corsicana Independent School District
The Penguin Project at Corsicana ISD is producing the Broadway musical Annie, Jr. Cranston Dodds, the CISD theater arts teacher who has been with the district for the last eight years has played an instrumental role in bringing this to our community. As the Director of the Penguin Project, he has immersed himself into this project and he has made the cast and crew believers of the Penguin Project vision.
“A number of years ago, I was Development Director for the American Association of Community Theatres. Part of my task was traveling to theatres across the country taking part in fundraising roundtables, board development ideas, volunteer awareness…While doing this I ran into several Directors who were in the process of directing a Penguin production. Listening to these people filled me with such joy that I knew if, given the opportunity to direct this project, I would jump on it. I discussed the idea with our district superintendent. Next thing I know she and several of us were on a flight to Lincoln, Nebraska to see a Penguin production. That experience cemented the idea for all of us.”
The Penguin Project is an inclusion model within the arts bringing together students with special needs strategically paired with student mentors to produce the show. “We are the only organization in the state of Texas to produce a show of this kind. In fact, due to COVID-19, I have been told that we are the only group in the nation doing this. To share this remarkably unique project with a city that I love and care for is an honor. CISD has embraced this so fully and hopefully so will the community. The district is very excited about this, we have a lot of opportunities for local talent and volunteers to become involved.”
“This past year has been challenging for all of us. When faced with difficult situations many of us seek out moments of joy and humor. With the Penguin Project, I find so much happiness and joy in the success of the students. The relationships built between the students and staff are life-changing.”
“I’ve always felt that the theatre should be a transformative activity. That when one enters the theatre, either in the audience or as part of a production, your world has changed in some way. With Penguin, I see the world changing with every rehearsal. The cast gains confidence learns social skills and increases communication ability. This also applies to the staff. I see changes every day. Penguin is the vehicle for promising development. Penguin means the world to me. It offers joy, hope, and great satisfaction that we are serving a greater population.”
The Penguin Project will be performed live on stage in the Corsicana High School Auditorium on April 16 & 17, 2021. Tickets will go on sale in March.
Corsicana ISD featured in Texas Business School Magazine for The Penguin Project
Twelve Texas school districts recognized for ground-breaking programs
AUSTIN, TEXAS (Dec. 2, 2020) —Twelve Texas school districts have been recognized for their outstanding programs with the release of Texas School Business magazine’s 14th Annual Bragging Rights 2020-21 special issue. Bragging Rights, which calls for nominations and is published every December, recognizes school districts that have implemented programs that are bettering the lives of Texas’ students, schools and communities.
This year’s 12 honored districts and their brag-worthy programs include:
- Aldeo ISD, Employee Crisis Fund
- Bryan ISD, Odyssey Academy
- Corsicana ISD, Penguin Project
- Goose Creek CISD, Here, We Grow Giants
- Gruver ISD, Farm Scholarship
- Levelland ISD, Therapy Dog Program
- Liberty Hill ISD, All Girls Considered
- Palacios ISD, In-House Special Education
- Pine Tree ISD, Day of the Dead Program
- Throckmorton Collegiate ISD, P-20 Model
- United ISD, Suicide Prevention Program
- Vidor ISD, Behavioral Health Program
“School districts across Texas sent in their nominations this year, and each one deserves to be noticed,” says Texas School Business Editorial Director Dacia Rivers. “It’s our hope that the 12 districts we chose inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The mission of Texas School Business is to share the good news happening in Texas public schools, and there’s never a shortage of news-worthy school programs for us to cover.”
For 46 years, Texas School Business has served as the news magazine for public education in Texas. Since 2014, it has been produced by the Texas Association of School Administrators (www.tasanet.org). To read the 14th Annual Bragging Rights issue online, visit www.texasschoolbusiness.com.