More Than Just an `Act’: Drama Kids Program Comes to Jacksonville & Saint Augustine: Focuses on Interactive Speech, Verbal Exercises that Build Confidence, Help Children Reach Full Potential
Jacksonville & Saint Augustine, FL – Realizing the opportunity to make a “dramatic” difference in the community, local entrepreneur Shirin Mitsis has set out to build the speech skills and confidence of children throughout Southern Duval and Saint Johns counties by offering a new program that is changing the “scene” of traditional drama instruction.
Mitsis launched Drama Kids of Jacksonville & Saint Augustine in 2007 as part of the largest after-school drama program in the world, with more than 60,000 students currently enrolled across 25 different countries. Its copyrighted curriculum features original, creative lessons with a built-in advancing scale of language development that enables students of different ages and abilities to relate to the program and progress at their own rate. Its curriculum differs significantly from traditional drama programs, with an emphasis on activities that focus on verbal dynamics, creative movement and dialogue development.
“At Drama Kids, children have fun learning important communication skills they will need to succeed in life,” said Mitsis, who owns and operates Drama Kids of Jacksonville & Saint Augustine. ”The skills they learn in our program give them the confidence they need for basic activities required at school, such as giving a report to the class, reading aloud in a group setting or participating in classroom discussions. To me, the definition of a `quality after-school enrichment program’ is something that maximizes what is taught during regular school hours yet be so enjoyable that children don’t even realize they’re learning. Drama Kids fits that mold perfectly.”
Drama Kids offers age-appropriate classes for students ages 3 through 17 years old. Classes meet once each week for one hour at locations throughout Southern Duval and Saint Johns counties. The program is designed to allow new enrollment throughout the year, space permitting. Drama Kids also offers Summer Camp and an In-School program that brings its innovative curriculum directly into the classroom.
Unlike most other drama centers, where children memorize and recite lines for a performance, the Drama Kids curriculum utilizes fun, creative and interactive activities that aim to improve communication skills and build confidence and self-esteem. Drama Kids maintains that drama is a fundamental part of education that teaches children to speak out clearly and relate confidently with peers. In a classroom environment, these skills improve a child’s ability to give book reports, speeches and actively participate in group projects.
“The bottom line is that the Drama Kids curriculum will enhance a child’s academic experience,” Mitsis said. “Parents need peace of mind that after the school day ends, their children are involved in valuable activities that enrich their learning. With Drama Kids, they’re getting the best out there. We have an internationally established brand. We use proven, fun drama activities to focus the bold, outspoken child, and to draw out the quiet child, helping them reach into themselves and discover their full potential.”
During the school year in the Drama Kids program, students learn to improve skills in speech, verbal dynamics, creative movement, language development, and dialogue development. Using snippets, scene starters, structured improvisation and mini-scripts, students develop strong skill sets and present what they have learned at mid-year presentations and at end-of-year productions. Special achievement certificates, trophies and t-shirts are awarded to students as they complete each year of the program.