Educational Entertainment A Way to Reach Youth

Posted in Columns, This Generation by 311zine on 05/13/2009

By Deon Price |

Engaging young people on a consistent basis is a challenge all too familiar for educators, counselors, youth program directors and school administrators. As state budget cuts take place in the form of terminating teachers and eliminating physical education, music and creative arts, we will face very difficult times for youth who are already being slighted by political decisions. Extracurricular activities are vehicles that help students remain engaged in school. Unfortunately, these are the first programs cash-strapped school districts will have to eliminate.

As arts, athletics and supplemental programs are removed, I fear more students will become disengaged and dropouts will increase. The last thing Bay Area students need is yet another reason to separate themselves from the already depleted public school system. Our public school institutions are falling short of preparing our youth for the world or in most cases a higher education.

The need for alternative educational institutions will be more critical than ever. Parents may decide to home school, or consider a performing arts school. Solano County is the only county in the Bay Area that doesn’t have a performing arts school either public, private or charter. The Solano Academy of Performing Arts and Technology organization is trying to be the first.

The mission of most performing arts schools is to empower a community of students with the academic, technical and social/emotional skills required to participate in the global society as professional life-long learners and leaders. The concept is achieved by providing an enriched art- and business-centered environment, which facilitates and promotes critical thinking, logical reasoning, literacy development and creative expression. The philosophy is to prepare students for post -secondary education and training in the various industries in the workforce by providing a rigorous and challenging curriculum that is relevant and flexible enough to be tailored to their unique needs, talents and interests.

The students will be motivated by connecting core academic subject matter to real life experience and creating meaningful and innovative ways of learning.

It is obvious to me the traditional educational environment isn’t effective for some students. This environment will excite students to become more resourceful so they continue to learn outside the formal school setting.

I am a huge supporter of this type of nontraditional educational institutions. There are several ways students learn which mean we should explore different types of teaching. The creative arts is a great tool for teaching that we should continue to invest in.

The concept of educational entertainment is proven to be successful. www.youtube.com/priceedutainment Students are inspired and engaged to perform well in academics through creative, performing and media arts. To put it simply, to deliver a curriculum in a way that reaches the spirit will inspire that student and will have a lasting effect.

Deon D. Price is a youth advocate and freelance writer. Reach him at Deon.Price@Comcast.net.



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