Cooperative Extension Fact Sheets
School Age Child Care #2
Creative Partnership for Prevention
The Creative Partnership for Prevention is a national initiative which has as its goal" providing current information, ideas and resources on how to use the arts and humanities to enhance drug and violence prevention programming, foster resiliency in youth, and implement collaborations within communities to strengthen prevention programs for youth."
Some samples of the programs that they have reviewed are provided here in the hopes that you will be motivated to look further into the ways in which the arts and humanities can reach children wherever they live.
- Chil'Arts: New Brunswick, New Jersey. Youth served: 56; Ages: 11-14; Focus: Playwriting The population is mixed racial and mixed cultural, consisting of Hungarian, Asian-Indian and Latino. The children are considered "edge children"- children at risk. Chil' Arts is a summer playwriting program created 5 years ago. It meets 3 times a week for 3 hours a day in the public housing development where the children live. In the first weeks children are exposed to acting and theater as a discipline. Weeks 2-6 concentrate on playwriting. Children write and perform short scenes. Topics are themselves, their friends, their lives, their families and their neighborhood. The dialogue is their everyday language. Weeks 7 and 8 are spent having professional actors polish and perform the plays. This gives validity and respect to the children's efforts. Professional playwrights, along with community volunteers work with the children. Chil' Arts staff carefully review the writings to look for signs of problems the children may be having (substance abuse, neglect, etc.) If problems are identified, staff follows up with the appropriate people. Funding is from Federal Govt., Public Housing and United Way.
- Vermont Council on the Humanities & Bellows Falls Middle School: Morrisville, Vermont. Youth served: Middle School; Focus: Literature, Drama The project focuses on the legends and stories of King Arthur. The goal was to strengthen the students' resiliency by using the legends as a basis for exploration of such themes as honor, loyalty and courage. It was hoped that the students' critical thinking skills, teamwork skills, motivation, and self esteem would be enhanced as well. Much community support poured in as the project was planned and developed. Students discussed themes, examined the issues and challenges presented in the stories, the difficult choices faced by the characters and how these choices might relate to the students' own lives. A 'quest' or dramatization was presented to parents, friends and community supporters and videotaped.
- Rocky Mountain Youth Corps & Hispanic Arts Council of Taos: Ranchos de Taos, NM. Youth served: 6th grade students; Focus: Murals Through the creation of murals the Teenage Corps worked with 6th graders to explore conflict resolution, drug prevention and life skills. Professional mural artists were included in the project to oversee and guide the students' work. Mural subject matter included family members, community role models, and animals. At Ranchos Elementary, corps members helped the students explore animal symbolism, discussing the qualities that make certain animals resilient.
- Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company & Glendale Middle School: Salt Lake City, UT. Youth served: Middle school; Focus: Dance Believing that students can build resiliency skills through dance, a summer dance program was created to address drug and violence prevention. The school has the highest juvenile incarceration rate per capita, per zip code and a high gang population. Techniques were taught and the students, with help from the dance company, choreographed three dance pieces, which they subsequently performed. Teachers report great gains in self esteem, dedication, resourcefulness, problem solving skills and teamwork.
Submitted by Patricia Cousineau, URI CE Research Associate
For more information please call 401.277.5255
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