By Atlanta Jewish Times, January 27, 2021
The Center for Puppetry Arts Distance Learning Department, headed by Sara Burmenko, won an elite Pinnacle Hall of Fame Award, given to Virtual Fieldtrip content providers who have won annual Pinnacle awards for 10 or more years.
The Center for Puppetry Arts Distance Learning Department serves teachers in all 50 states and 80 countries, including China, India, Australia, Costa Rica, South Africa and Sweden.
The Pinnacle awards are granted by the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration, the international nonprofit educational programming rating organization. CILC provides access to interactive programs delivered through videoconferencing and distance learning technology.
Organizations and individuals who create virtual learning programs can post them on CILC’s website. Schools and other groups use the website to find programs that match their subject matter, then they book programs through CILC. After the programs are presented, the teachers complete a detailed questionnaire to rate them. Pinnacle awards are given to the content providers with the top scores.
Another 2020 accolade is connected to the Distance Learning Department. The Center for Puppetry Arts won Atlanta Magazine’s prestigious Best Home Entertainment Award for excellent programming during the pandemic. When Atlanta school field trips were put on hold and the city of Atlanta closed Puppetry Arts’ doors, within days all departments were able to provide programs remotely by adapting the in-place technology of the Distance Learning Department.
Teachers and parents could log on to a variety of live puppet shows, ranging from the educational, such as “Captain Healthy and Safety Dog,” to the classics, including “The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat.” Each show gave viewers an opportunity to move, dance or learn from puppeteers.
Atlanta Magazine recognized the popularity and impact of the Center for Puppetry Arts virtual programming, which began via direct connection to the Distance Learning Zoom rooms, then, when the platforms maxed out after the first day, programs were accessible via Facebook Live.