Archive for October 5th, 2012



October 5, 2012

Karen Hartnagle on the radio

I’ve had the chance in the past to visit Karen Hartnagle’s Arts Can Help Everyone Excel (ACHEVE) programs in schools while watching professional dancers in action with students. The dance program consists of in-school dance classes held once a week in six schools for all students in a grade level. Karen is the Program Arts Coordinator at Community Health and Counseling Services. Along with the Dance ACHEVE Karen is also responsible for ACHEVE Family Arts Night and ACHEVE Arts ‘N Kids. Family Arts Night provides the opportunity for parents and their (grand) child an opportunity to spend time together creating art and having fun! This program takes place at the Maine Discovery Museum and is taught by a certified art teacher.

The third part of the ACHEVE program. Arts ‘N’ Kids, is an after school musical theatre program, enhancing the art programming in two of her schools that also have dance programs. In her work Karen had noticed that low self-esteem was an obstacle in keeping kids healthy. She comes from a place of “finding something good and reinforcing it” as a pathway to healthy kids. The Arts-N-Kids program includes dancing, singing, and acting all wrapped up in one. It is not about competing with each other but about each student doing their individual best. All kids are engaged in their learning. The theme for this years Dance and Arts ‘N Kids programs is Health.

Arts-N-Kids offers 6 week programs during the school year for the Brewer Community School and the George B. Weatherbee School in Hampden. Recently Karen was on the United Way of Eastern Maine Presents weekly radio program sharing the philosophy of the program and the value of arts education for all students.

Karen is a great resource and is leading the way in providing dance opportunities for students during the school day with this unique model. If you’d like more information listen to the recorded link above and contact Karen at 922-4639 or email her at or go to

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