Kemper Academy event featured area youth, Dr. Christopher Rybak

Students from Roosevelt Magnet School and teacher Cheri Wells.

March 11, 2011

A recent Kemper Teaching and Learning Academy event in the Hartman Center included a lecture by Dr. Christopher Rybak and a dance performance by students from Roosevelt Magnet School.

As the meeting began, Dr. Heljä Antola Crowe introduced Cheri Wells, a teacher at Roosevelt Magnet School, and her students. The students performed multiple dances as Wells spoke about the importance of dance instruction in an overall educational experience. She praised Roosevelt’s administration for appreciating the art’s significance.

“The administration gives the arts staff the freedom to perform our craft,” she said. “Dance is my tool for teaching the whole child.”

After lunch was served, Dr. Antola Crowe introduced the groups from the various Kemper-affiliated schools, then Dr. Rybak delivered his lecture, “Self-Care and Mindfulness for Positive Mental Health.” He spoke about the benefits of relaxation, meditation, and awareness of one’s breathing and heartbeat. Such techniques can help increase empathy, reduce anxiety, and improve interpersonal relationships at work and at home, he said.

Following Dr. Rybak’s presentation, Dr. Antola Crowe closed the meeting with a reminder of the power of positivity.

“Every time you come into a room, you make a difference for someone,” she said.

The Kemper Teaching and Learning Academy is a collaborative effort between the Bradley University College of Education and Health Sciences and five local professional development schools that aims to enhance the quality of education for Peoria children. Bradley works with Manuel Talent Development Middle and High School, Roosevelt Magnet School, Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center, Whittier Primary School, and St. Mark Catholic School. The partnership is supported by the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank Trustee Grant, which Bradley has received since 1997.