stop bullying oct 2015

Drama Kids Launches Its New ACT UP! Anti-Bullying Initiative

Bullying remains the most prevalent form of violence in our society today. According to government statistics [www.stopbullying.gov], almost 30 percent of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying in one form or another, including cyberbullying. Equally alarming, about the same number of kids admit to doing the bullying themselves.

Drama Kids, has always felt a responsibility to do our part to help kids build the confidence they need to stand up for themselves and for others. We know that confidence is a skill that kids can develop and strengthen through practice and reinforcement. Through our drama programs, we’ve seen how our students stretch their comfort zones and learn how to step forward, speak up and express their ideas, and respect others. But we believe we can do more.

Drama Kids is proud to roll out our newest initiative – ACT UP! to Stop Bullying. This series of anti-bullying workshops is designed for 3rd through 5th graders and utilizes a variety of student participatory drama activities and group discussions to teach children about the various forms of bullying and the ways in which students can properly respond.

 

Specifically, the workshops are designed to help students:

  • Understand the many and different forms of bullying, from physical and verbal attacks to more subtle forms like purposefully excluding someone from a group
  • See the different roles they can play when bullying occurs, from silent participant to observer to preventer
  • Reinforce that their negative feelings about bullying are very common and shared with their peers
  • Learn how to model good behavior
  • Role play to learn how to identify bullying and practice safe and effective interventions

 

According to the Education Development Center, empathy activities like role playing are among some of the most critical social skills we can teach our kids. “Children are less likely to hurt and more likely to help someone if they can imagine themselves in that person’s place and can share that person’s thoughts and feelings.”[i]

 

Using our developmental drama approach, we are proud to do our part in helping kids gain the confidence and skills they need to not just prevent but stand up to bullying. The workshops are available as a stand-alone program or as an add-on option to our traditional drama programs. We also look forward to introducing the workshops as a week-long camp program next summer.

 

For more information, contact us at 866-809-1055, or info@dramakids.com.

[i] Preventing Bullying, 2013, Education Development Center, www.promoteprevent.org

 

kids-business

7 Fun Businesses Started Just for Kids

From cooking classes and acting lessons to specialized fitness clubs and science programs, there are plenty of businesses out there targeted to kids… Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

wood-drama-sign

The Benefits of Drama

Back-to-school time is typically when parents start thinking about what kids will be doing both in and out of the classroom. Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

 

asbergers-child

Bring on the Drama – Aspergers Syndrome Child Discovers Drama Kids

Please read the entire story by clicking the link below.

http://complicatedlifeofanaspiemom.blogspot.com/2015/06/bring-on-drama.html

 

 

 

No_Bullying-538x218

Drama Kids Fights Back Against Bullying

According to the Stop Bullying Now Foundation, 60% of all middle school students say they have been bullied; and, 20% of all elementary school children and high school students say they have been bullied. We believe there is one important element that can defeat bullying and that’s confidence. Confidence allows kids the ability to stand up for themselves and for others. Confidence is a skill that everyone can develop IF it is focused on. Many parents believe that their children have natural confidence, but the growing bullying and teen suicide statistics say otherwise. Confidence must be taught, practiced, continually reinforced and recognized. Unfortunately, most kids and teens don’t get such training.
Drama Kids students gain confidence by taking small but important risks in class to step forward, speak up, and express their ideas. Daring to be seen and heard is hard at first, but through constant praising and encouragement by our teachers, stretching limits through drama soon becomes second nature to our students. We feel strongly that our program is an effective weapon against bullying because our class curriculum taught by our trained teachers includes in EACH class:

  • Opportunities to work with new students – no CLIQUES allowed!
  • Partner opportunities to work together with someone new and present results together.
  • Small group and team opportunities to build leadership, compromise, and negotiation skills.
  • Presentation time to perform in front of the teacher and other students.
  • A strong focus on projection and speaking skills. Speaking up with strong articulation is taught and reinforced to all. We love noise! – Coherent, thoughtful, and creative noise.
  • Fun and constantly changing drama activities are used to ensure that all students participate fully. No stars are anointed over anyone else. All students are praised and recognized as the incredible miracles that they are.

One mom’s letter to us sums it up best:

“I know I have said it before, but I cannot say it enough, Drama Kids has made a huge difference in Lauren’s life. You gave her the confidence to start to take risks and move forward in her life. Before she started Drama Kids, life seemed so hard for her – especially when it came to friends. I remember in fifth grade she asked her friends if they thought she was weird and believe me, some said yes. Now she is engaging with adults and having them be so impressed with her. I know at that moment I thought of you and Drama Kids and the positive influence you both have had in her life. Seriously, when she walks across that stage in June, you will be right there with her. Know that you played a huge part of the wonderful adult she has become. I hope this also reminds you that what you do is so important.”

We CAN fight bullying. We CAN build confidence. We urge you to contact your nearest Drama Kids owner to learn more about our classes in your area, or very confidently open a Drama Kids franchise near you, At Drama Kids – the Difference IS Dramatic!

speaking-skills-news

5 Tips to Develop Strong Speaking Skills in Your Child

1)  Listen to what your child is saying.  Children must feel that what they say is important.  Put down the paper, turn off the TV or car radio, and converse.  Knowing that you are listening to them will reinforce their confidence in speaking to you and to others.

2) Practice developing strong eye contact. Require that your child look into your eyes whenever they speak to you.  Then challenge them to do the same when talking to anyone else.  Praise them when you see this happening.

3) Develop articulation. Use tongue twisters to emphasize articulation in a fun way.  Concentrate on correct articulation.  Do not allow the child to speak too fast at the cost of poor articulation.

4) Ask your child open ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer.  For example – “Tell me more about your movement exercises in class today?”  If you need a subject to discuss, perhaps read a small story to your child then ask hypothetical questions about what might happen next, or which character they liked.

Older children can be involved in discussing national news events, or school activities.

5) Don’t speak for your child.  Encourage children to speak for themselves.  For example, have children place their own orders at restaurants.  The practice of speaking to others in a clear voice is well worth the extra time that it may take to get your food.

stereotype

Drama Kids Removes Common Negative Stereotypes about Children’s Drama Programs

Myth: The purpose of children’s drama is to entertain an audience.

Fact: The purpose of children’s drama is for participants to develop speaking skills, acting skills, creative thinking, confidence and self esteem.

 

Myth: Drama requires repetitive memorization of lines.

Fact: Creative, developmental drama uses new short plays and other drama activities each class.  The focus is on skill development – not line memorization.

 

Myth: Drama classes are only for children who are not interested in participating in extracurricular athletic programs.

Fact: Drama programs are for all children, regardless of physical abilities or sports aptitude. All children stand to gain significant advantages in confidence and in their speaking and presentation skills that a creative drama program provides. In addition, team building skills taught at drama classes help children learn how to work together in a group, which is critical for group projects at school.  In addition, most athletically involved children enjoy the variety that drama provides in their lives.

 

Myth:  Drama is only for extroverted children.

Fact: Drama is great for both “shy” and “outgoing” children. Drama can help introverted children develop their speaking skills and public confidence, provided that they are challenged at a pace that is comfortable and enjoyable for them. Often, parents find that, after participation in drama classes, their so-called “shy” child wasn’t introverted after all – they just needed the proper guidance from trained professionals to help “draw” them out. Drama can also create a positive focus and outlet for extroverted children as well as build their diction, projection and articulation skills.

 

Myth: Drama takes a significant time commitment in order for a child to excel.

Fact: Just one hour of drama class per week throughout the school year, using the right drama program will create significant noticeable differences in speech, creative thinking and confidence in public speaking.

shooting-for-the-stars

Drama Kids protege Caden is on the road to stardom

Like a lot of children his age, 11-year-old Caden Denslow has big dreams of becoming a famous actor. But unlike those other kids, his aspirations of appearing on the big screen are already
taking shape thanks in part to his experience as a Drama Kids student. [Read the rest of the article in PDF format by clicking here]