Roanoke Children’s Theatre (RCT) awarded grant

The Foundation is pleased to again help sponsor RCT's Kaleidoscope and RCT4TEENS programs with a $15,000 grant.

Kaleidoscope is the first class and camp of its kind in Southwest Virginia, offering
children with exceptional abilities a safe and creative community that expands awareness of others and
awareness of self.The project targets Roanoke Valley K-12 special needs students, who may have a multitude of
different developmental disabilities. Disabilities may include verbal or nonverbal, ambulatory/ in need to
assistive movement, ADD/ADHD, Autistic or Down syndrome. The project will serve a minimum of 25
students, along with their families, in collaboration with school personnel. Post camp evaluations and teacher
interviews will be used to measure the success of the program.

RCT4TEENS is a continuing theatre/health education project, produced in collaboration with local school
districts and a coalition of health care agencies and professiona. RCT annually reaches grade-wide
attendance of approximately 2,500 – 3,500 middle and high school students who participate in post-show
interactive prevention talkbacks with agency professionals, while identifying resources for ongoing support.
The overarching goal of the teen’s project is to utilize theater as teaching mechanisms to increase knowledge
and promote good health behavior. Teens who partake in the program gain an increased understanding in
health protective measures and risk reducing factors. RCT has found studies that show successful
interventions, such as RTC4TEENS, effectively promotes the understanding of risk reducing factors and
good health practices in teens. Past issues addressed include Substance Abuse (WRECKED, 2011),
Depression and Suicide (ERIC & ELLIOTT, 2012), the link between brain development and risk behaviors
(TEEN BRAIN, 2013/2014), eating disorders (EAT: IT’S NOT ABOUT FOOD, 2015), heroin addiction and
substance abuse (THE ICE CREAM MAN, 2016), and teen pregnancy (BABYLAND, 2017). The 2017-2018 play
DISTRACTED DRIVING will address the issue of driving while using social media and cell phones. Each teen
in the RTC4TEEN program also has access to youth education outreach workshops that connects teens with
health care professionals. During these workshops, teens are encouraged to ask questions and learn best
practices.

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