In 2013, ASTEP and Teach for India (TFI) joined forces to integrate the arts into the academic classroom and organize and produce the MAYA project, an original musical performed by TFI students. Today, ASTEP Teaching Artists are matched with TFI Teaching Fellows (teachers in training) to focus on ways to incorporate the arts into their curriculum, such as using music to help teach fractions or using theater to help teach language arts. By sharing artistic tools to bolster classroom teaching, ASTEP shows the arts not only have the power to engage children but to excite them about learning.
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“Maya, a partnership between ASTEP and Teach For India, is more than just the promise of a spectacular show. It’s a symbol of the kind of education all children deserve. The Maya Musical is a life-changing journey through which 100 low-income students gain an integrated education combining: exposure and access, values and mindsets, and academic achievement. The show features an original script, and Broadway composed music by ASTEP Teaching Artists that tells the story of Princess Maya’s journey. Tasked to bring light back into her Kingdom, Maya and her friends use the values of courage, compassion and wisdom to lift 3 curses that have been cast on the world. The show has taken these children on a whirlwind journey of self-discovery where they, like Maya, discover their values, potential and brightest light. The show opened in November 2014 and will tour the country in 2015 and beyond. Maya aims to directly touch all Teach For India’s 32,000 children, and many children outside as well, through the Maya Book, Curriculum ideas, Film and the 100 Artists Program.”