Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Stacey Riemer
The purpose of my project was to conceptualize an ideal program proposal for Ada Jenkins Drama Enrichment program to help with the current leadership transition. Additionally, this program proposal was intended to provide a teaching resource that justifies the importance of the arts education in after-school programming with suggestions for future partnerships and resources for program sustainability. Drama enrichment is an Ada Jenkins after-school program where volunteers lead elementary age children in Improv/theatre activities. The primary goals are to exercise the children’s creativity, build self-confidence, and help them develop tools for public speaking and analytical thinking. This project began in reflection journal entries about my volunteer experience at Ada Jenkins and reflective conversations with fellow drama volunteers. We noted that the programs loose structure was providing for a chaotic environment and lack of focus. The need for more volunteers was apparent and as was the need for volunteers who can dedicate more time to Ada. Observation, research on existing arts education programs and their importance, conversations with peer volunteers and Ada Jenkins staff members, and review of course concepts led to my conclusion that wider and deeper community partnerships are required to elevate this program to a meaningful level and offer a wider volunteer pool to sustain the program in the years to come.