The arts have always been a safe haven.
We have brought together speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, behaviorists, educators, as well as icons in the improv world, performers and acting teachers to create a strong program, where each class has been carefully thought out and crafted to bring the greatest benefits to the kids.
Kids with special needs tend to struggle in social situations.
Some of our kids won’t see the signs of social interaction due to lack of eye contact, inability to attend to one thing for a long period of time, or the inability to attend to another person’s thoughts, rather than their own. Some may not even realize that others have different thoughts and feelings than they do. The building blocks of successful communication and discourse have simply not been honed.
Improvisation, like life, is about thinking on your feet. It is about taking what someone is giving to you, and giving something back. There are rules to improv that can be applied to everyday interaction and we believe that through improv games, the children will work on skills involving receptive and expressive language, non-visual social cues, non-language based cues, as well as team building and leadership skills. All in a fun, non-threatening environment where there are no mistakes, and where they work as part of a team toward a common goal. In this way, the children are open to new experiences and people. Then they can learn to read and express emotions and feelings, both their own, and those of their peers. This, in turn, will resonate with them after class, in the real world, to help them engage with their peers and families better.
But, we know not all needs are the same.
So we developed classes for kids who need something else...a little individualized attention, a smaller setting, and maybe even at a slower pace.
Some children prefer a more personal form of self-expression. For these children, we have developed writing programs to help them create and engage with others.
- In Creative Writing, kids can create their own works of fiction, poetry, spoken word or even get help on classwork that they are struggling with. Our instructors are teachers and education majors at local universities so they know that there are all types of learners.
- In Playwrighting & Performance, kids get the best of both worlds. They can work collaboratively coming up with concepts, themes, character development and then present their work to their peers, combining both the more intimate writing experience with the performing experience.
- Voiceovers for kids who like to be heard, and not necessarily seen. Working on animation as well as other forms of voiceovers, kids learn to take notes and apply them to their work. They can also incorporate what is being taught to others, and apply that into their work as well. Learning how to take constructive criticism can be an important life skill for our children.
- And for the kids who really want to step into the spotlight, we are thrilled to offer Stand Up Comedy classes. With a pension for puns, we know kids love to know that their words affect others and what better way then to bring laughter to the world.