Booker Middle School Magnet Program
The Booker Middle School magnet program began in 2020, and currently has nearly 40 students enrolled. It was the brainchild of school Principal Dr. LaShawn Frost and developed with support of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Center for PAInT (Partnerships in Arts-Integrated Teaching). PAInT works to: offer arts-integrated teaching support to Florida schools and school districts with disproportionately low rates of arts programs, replicate successful arts integration programs in Florida’s Title I schools, and remove barriers to the implementation of arts integration in all Florida schools.
In addition to serving as a pipeline to the CAC’s renowned Sailor Circus Academy, the Booker Middle magnet program increases access to the circus arts to students who might not otherwise be able to participate. The CAC’s outreach manager, Karen Bell, notes that some Sailor Circus Academy students are also choosing to join the magnet program at the two schools.
According to Americans for the Arts, “Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.” Bell notes that, “There’s a place in the circus for everybody. Whether a student enjoys being up in the air, if they have a funny bone, or if they’re seeking to challenge themselves with something new and different that’s creative as well as physical, they can find their place in the circus.”
For more information contact: Christine Reagan, Visual & Performing Arts Director, Booker Middle School (941)359-5824 x61009 or Christine.Reagan@