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Teaching Through Play
Silly Suzy and Momo are ready to visit your school or kindergarten for an exciting and educational adventure. Through their program “Teaching Through Play,” Silly Suzy and Momo encourage children to experiment with non-verbal communication and movement exploration. By engaging the children in performances, games and collaborative activities, Suzy and Momo aim to foster intercultural learning, as well as language learning and sharing to strengthen communities.
When she created the program “Teaching Through Play,” educator and aerialist Lauren Charnow drew inspiration from her own extensive experience with social circus. This teaching method fuses education, physical art and social development to foster supportive communities through circus art. Building strong support networks for small communities has been the main focus of Lauren’s endeavors for the past ten years. During this time, Lauren has traveled all around the world to teach circus to children and adults, often being confronted with the challenges of language barriers. Since moving to Iceland, Lauren has continued on her mission to use circus arts for her community-building projects, taking her educational program to public and private organizations across the South West of Iceland. She is often joined by fellow aerialist and teacher Alice Demurtas. With an MA in English Teaching from the University of Iceland, Alice integrates her traditional teaching skills with movement-based activities to make learning a full body experience. Together the duo builds curricula that can be specific to different academic or life-skill-based topics. The duo hopes to foster a stronger community that is accepting of individuals who may look or speak differently, in order to create safe spaces where everyone can feel like they belong.
Lauren and Alice are firm believers in the importance of exposing youths to different cultural and linguistic realities. Drawing from their academic background and years of experience working with youths, the duo aims to create a safe platform for children of different origins and backgrounds to explore the depths and value of inclusivity. Their goal is to teach acceptance and respect for individuals who look or speak differently.
Since its inception “Teaching Through Play” has not only become a vehicle for light-hearted entertainment for kids of all ages, but also a way to encourage children to share and explore the power of movement, language sharing and collaboration for intercultural learning in Iceland.
Silly Suzy and Momo have already collaborated with local public libraries and educational organizations that work with children and young adults. By bringing their program to schools and kindergartens, they aim to offer more children the opportunity to explore the boundaries of communication that goes beyond cultural and language differences. If you are interested in collaborating you can contact us at KriaAerialArts@gmail.com or call 774-1062 for more information about programs, activities, availability and prices.
Alice Demurtas (aka, Momo) is a Secondary School English teacher from Italy. Alice acquired a B.A. in English and Journalism as well as a Masters’ Degree in English Teaching at the University of Iceland. In addition, she also studied English at the University of Oxford with a focus on Postcolonial Studies. She now teaches English in Fjölbrautarskólinn í Ármúla and Film Studies in Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík. Her long-term goal is to expand the scope of English teaching in Icelandic schools by opening the curriculum to more inclusive educational materials, with the aim of fostering intercultural learning, civic awareness and active citizenship. Alice has lived in Iceland since 2012, speaks five languages and is also an aerial silks instructor for Kría Aerial Arts.
Lauren Charnow (aka, Silly Suzy) has been teaching children around the world for over 12 years. Lauren received a BA at Skidmore College in New York, USA where she studied psychology, exercise science, and art classes to explore how movement and physical expression can be used to educate and help others. In the United States, she developed and implemented programs that integrated theatre, dance, and circus with positive themes such as, anti-bullying methods, nutrition, and building self-esteem. Lauren completed the Circus Arts Therapy program at the Circus Arts Institute in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Circus Arts Therapy is a fitness and play tool that is used to help develop self-esteem, social thinking, motor control, and support individuals with learning differences. After completing this program Lauren worked as the assistant director at EB Pediatric Resources, in Chicago, IL (USA) where she implemented circus arts and learning through play programs for young children with speech and developmental delays as well as physical disabilities. In 2018 Lauren completed the Caravan Social Circus Training Program studying in Le Plus Petit Cirque Du Monde in France, Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles, Sorin Sirkus in Finland and CABUWAZI in Berlin. Social Circus can be described as using circus to bring together education, physical art, and social development. Lauren is the founder of Kría Aerial Arts and uses all of her classes as a way to build a stronger supportive community.