Neighborhood News

Emerald City Theatre Delivers First of 60,000 Books to CPS 2nd and 3rd Graders

Posted on December 1, 2017

Emerald City Theatre (ECT) delivered free books to all 2nd and 3rd grade students at Skinner West Elementary on Thursday, November 30. The book delivery was part of the first phase of Showtime for CPS Readers: Magic Tree House, a program that sees ECT partnering with Magic Tree House author Mary Pope Osborne to serve CPS students for the second time. Through Ms. Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program, and with support from KPMG’s Family for Literacy, the partnership provides an opportunity for all Chicago Public Schools (CPS) 2nd and 3rd grade students (totaling approximately 60,000) to receive a free viewing of a theater performance of Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare and a free companion Magic Tree House book.

On Friday, February 9, 2018 at 10:15 AM, ECT’s performance of the brand-new family hip-hop musical, Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare will be live streamed to all register 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms from the stage at the Apollo Theater (2540 N Lincoln Ave). Ms. Osborne and playwright Will Osborne will be in attendance for the event, allowing students the opportunity to meet them, as well.

CPS teachers may register their 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms to receive books and participate in the live stream event online at All classrooms registered before the December 22, 2017 deadline will receive books prior to the live stream event. Also, provided will be an original study guide written by ECT Education staff that helps integrate Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare performance and book into Common Core standards. Additional lesson plans for all Magic Tree House fiction books and nonfiction Fact Trackers, are available free of charge on Ms. Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program website.

Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare features Jack & Annie, the protagonists of the 56-book New York Times best-selling series, traveling to Shakespearean England to help save a troubled production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play is based on Magic Tree House #25: Stage Fright on a Summer Night. The script and lyrics were written by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne with music and additional lyrics by Randy Courts.

This marks the second time that Mary Pope Osborne, KPMG’s Family for Literacy, and Emerald City Theatre have teamed up to bring the Magic Tree House stories into CPS classrooms to foster literacy and arts education. A previous live stream event took place on March 18, 2016 and showcased Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans, a jazz musical based on Magic Tree House #42: A Good Night for Ghosts. That partnership also included a gift of 30,000 books to all CPS 2nd graders.

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