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Sarah Jessica Parker visits Minneapolis school to promote arts education

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Actress Sarah Jessica Parker was a guest at an elementary school in Minneapolis Monday, promoting arts education as a way to encourage better learning for students.

Parker is participating in Turnaround Arts, a public-private partnership which brings more art programming and resources to under-performing schools around the country.

One aspect of the program is that each school is “adopted” by a mentor, according to WCCO. Parker chose to be a mentor for the Bethune Community School, and met with students and staff Monday.

Students performed poetry and sang songs for Parker during a school assembly, the Star Tribune notes.

One of the students wrote a poem to her teacher, saying she wants to be like her when she grows up. Parker spoke of that moment in an interview afterward.

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Parker said she chose Bethune because her mother taught in schools that faced similar challenges. She also noted a personal connection with Minneapolis, saying her parents visited the city occasionally to attend performances at the Guthrie Theater, according to the Star Tribune.

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Parker arrived in Minneapolis Sunday and complimented the city in several posts on her Instagram account.

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More about Turnaround Arts in Minnesota

In a video provided by Turnaround Arts, Bethune principal Cheryl Martin said having a robust arts education program gives her students a way to gain more confidence in their abilities, which translates to better performance in academic subjects as well.

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In addition to Bethune, Minnesota has three other schools participating in the Turnaround Arts program: Northport Elementary in Brooklyn Center; Northside Elementary in St. James; and Red Lake Middle School in Red Lake.

Other well-known actors have visited Minnesota's Turnaround Arts schools in recent months, including Doc Walls, who came to Bethune and Northside in St. James in October; and Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis, who visited Northport in Brooklyn Center in September.

More about Turnaround Arts in Minnesota is available here.

More about the national program is available here.

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