After-School Program with At-Risk Youth

We have established a year-round collaboration with the Knox County Public Defender’s Office and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Knoxville for an after-school program for at-risk youth, which received remarkable recognition when then-First Lady Laura Bush made a visit to one of our classes at the Public Defender’s Office to see our approach to using theatre activities for non-discipline based education.

TSC’s work with at-risk youth provides opportunities to develop decision-making and communication skills, in addition to building self-esteem through the development of basic theatre skills. This program has two goals: 1) to provide opportunities for self-directed expression by developing self-sufficiency: improving communication/life skills and enhancing social interaction skills through the teaching of basic theatre activities, and 2) to improve decision-making: a cognitive skill difficult for many at-risk adolescents. Research has shown that drama is an effective way to model appropriate behavior and focus on positive decision-making for many at-risk adolescents.

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