To my great surprise, I realized that tomorrow marks the one year anniversary (or Blogiversary) of my ETC Education Outreach Blog. I'm very grateful to all of you who take a moment out of your day to check in and see what's going on with ETC and the fabulous kids we serve through our outreach efforts. To celebrate, I thought I'd bring you all up to speed on the work we've been doing!
While my updates have been fewer and farther between of late, please consider it a consequence of the popularity of our outreach programs. Currently, I am teaching 4 days of the week, along with my other administrative duties at the theatre. This is a great thing, since there's nothing I love more than being in the classroom, but it does make for some busy days. To complicate matters, of course each group has unique needs and each class has a different purpose. So what are we up to at the moment?
Finishing up our first Prelude Program of the season at Chase Elementary School, where I have been working with the Primary Multi Handicapped class. Their original play, "At the Playground," will be performed next Wednesday, so stay tuned for photos from the performance! Here's a couple of pictures of the kids in their costumes for rehearsal:
Paging Dr. Cow! Kenny is loving his role as a kind doctor.
You can read more about our adventures at Chase in earlier posts on this blog.
So what else is going on?
This week we are beginning two new Prelude Programs, both at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy here in Over The Rhine. Two third grade groups will be writing, designing, and performing their own play in the next ten weeks (or so) with me. Their teachers have asked that we use this opportunity to study science and mathematics a bit, so we're working with Simple Machines.
Also, on Wednesday I returned to Winton Hills Elementary School to do a workshop with the girls club there. One of the earliest posts on this blog was about a visit with this same group last year. Did you know that throughout the city, female volunteers work with young ladies (usually around 4th or 5th grade) after school to help build confidence, self-esteem, and have a little fun doing all things girly? It's a great time, and I commend the women who volunteer to work with these girls. Consider the simple power of knowing that a grown woman you respect is CHOOSING to spend her time with you, to help you learn about yourself, help you determine who you want to be, and dance, sing, and play with you. An hour or so a week celebrating Girl Power (at the risk of sounding like a Spice Girl!) is not a bad thing, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
Finally, I continue working with the freshmen at Starfire U. What is Starfire U? Here's an explanation taken from their website:
Starfire U is a new, post-secondary opportunity focused on providing relevant educational opportunities for young adults with disabilities. It combines Starfire’s expertise in advancing socialization with traditional special education techniques. This research-based program will have a positive lifelong impact on the lives of people who experience disabilities.
The Starfire U curriculum, developed by special education and transition experts, includes lessons in socialization, safety, transportation, life skills, health, citizenship, technology and more! By acquiring and utilizing these skills in practical ways, students will be greater equipped for life in the community.
ETC was asked to present a 4 part series of classes in how theatre and acting techniques can help an individual in life – for example how acting skills can help you prepare for a job interview. I've had a great time with these guys and I appreciate the chance to work with them. Rarely do I get to work with adults, so this is a welcome change of pace. It keeps me on my teaching toes!
So, that's what's keeping me busy here at ETC! There are many other projects going on, but these are the big ones. Thanks for reading, and here's to another year of great stories!