Sophia Sings! A new after school chorus program at Sophia Academy


Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) recently announced its grant to Sophia Academy which created a choral arts after school program named “Sophia Sings” in collaboration with Girls Rock! Rhode Island.  “We are very excited about our partnership with Girls Rock! Rhode Island and the opportunity to offer this dynamic option for our girls,” said Gigi DiBello, Head of School.  The mission statements of Sophia Academy and of Girls Rock! Rhode Island both emphasize the empowerment of young girls.  The participants will learn developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant repertoire of songs.  It will be a wonderful complement to the middle school curriculum giving voice to diverse populations of the United States as the girls study American History.  The students will also write and perform their own original works.  The idea of using music as a force for social change is a powerful message for our students and the process of creating music will foster collaboration, skill building, and self-esteem.  It will be a celebration of the creative process as a vehicle for healthy identity development for middle school girls.

The Sophia Sings program is expected to begin in early October twice a week and is being taught by Rebecca Mitchell of Girls Rock! Rhode Island. This program is open to all Sophia Academy students.

Sophia Academy is pleased to offer this new program as part of its expanded after school program.  Now located in the new building on the Sister Mary Reilly Campus at 582 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, Sophia Academy is eager to explore new options for its after school program to include the arts.  The renovated building provides great space for this exciting opportunity for our girls.

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Sophia Academy Opens Its New Campus at 582 Elmwood Avenue

Providence, RI, February 24, 2014-

Sophia Academy is excited to announce the opening of their new school building located at 582 Elmwood Avenue.  The new campus is named after the school’s founder Sister Mary Reilly.  The school, located on Broad Street when it first opened in 2001, moved back to Elmwood after an eleven year absence from the neighborhood.  The majority of Sophia students and alumnae now live within walking distance of the school.

The Elmwood Avenue building provides the school with more discrete and larger spaces, outdoor green space, and enhanced security systems.  All the academic classrooms are on the first floor and the lower level is handicap accessible.  A bank vault now used for storage in the basement is a reminder of the time the building served as a branch of Industrial National Bank (later Fleet Bank).  The school is eager to:

  • expand afterschool and summer programming to include neighborhood girls;
  • partner with neighboring community organizations and schools; and
  • be engaged neighbors!

Monday, February 24th, 2014 was the first day of classes for the 61 middle school students who were seeing the newly completed facility for the first time. Sara McConnell, Board President, was also on hand today, “I was happy to join the Head of School Gigi DiBello and our Founder Mary Reilly, rsm, as they welcomed the students onto the Elmwood Avenue campus this morning.  It was a smooth start to a new chapter in the history of Sophia Academy.  We couldn’t be more pleased with the building and the location.  I know I speak for the board of directors and the capital campaign committee when I say thank you to our donors, the City of Providence, and our community partners for making this project a reality.”

“The Wisdom to Dream,” a very active and enthusiastic capital campaign committee, co-chaired by Suzanne Murray and Ann Szostak, raised over $1.5 million to buy and renovate the former bank building.  Durkee Brown Viveiros were the architects and Bigelow & Fleming, LLC did the construction.  The Head of School, Gigi DiBello, is thinking about the future, “We are looking forward to recruiting our new fifth grade class and building an even stronger program!” Sophia Academy is currently accepting applications for the 2014-15 Academic Year.

Sophia Academy is an independent middle school for 5th-8th grade girls from low income homes in Providence.  Sophia provides an excellent educational foundation for students to continue their academic journey in some of Providence’s best high schools (Classical High School, Bay View Academy, and Lincoln School) and beyond.  The 15:1 student-faculty ratio, highly skilled faculty, special training on gender responsive best practices and inclusive classroom design for faculty and staff create a dynamic learning community. Sophia Academy Opens New Campus

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