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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

"After-School Activity Makes a "Dramatic" Difference in the Classroom"

Drama Kids Program: Focuses on Interactive Speech, Verbal Exercises that Build Confidence, Help Children Reach Full Potential

Since 1979, Drama Kids International has been making a "dramatic" difference in the lives of children all over the world. Local entrepreneur, Toni Henson, recently launched Drama Kids of Princeton with the goal of building the speech skills and confidence of children. "This program is changing the "scene" of traditional drama instruction," says Henson, "As the mother of four and a former college professor, I am very selective about which after-school programs my own children are involved in. I am a walking-talking parent testimony. This program has made a significant difference in my children's ability to speak clearly and act confidently."

Drama Kids International of Princeton is part of the largest after-school drama program in the world, with more than 40,000 students currently enrolled at 1,000 plus locations both in the United States and internationally. 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 a 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 Henson, who owns and operates Drama Kids of Princeton. "The skills they learn in our program gives 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 is so enjoyable that children don't even realize they're learning. Drama Kids fits that mold perfectly."

Drama Kids of Princeton offers age-appropriate classes for students ages 5 through 17 years old. Classes meet once each week for one hour at locations throughout the Princeton/Mercer area. 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," Henson 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 and T-shirts are awarded to students as they complete each year of the program.

About Drama Kids
Drama Kids is the exclusive U.S. provider of the Helen O'Grady Children's Drama Program, the most popular after-school drama program in the world. More than 40,000 students attend the program at 1,000 locations throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Southeast Asia, United Kingdom and most recently, the United States. This award-winning program has been internationally recognized for its creative drama curriculum and teaching methods. For more information or to enroll in classes, contact Toni Henson at 609- 737-2ACT (2228) and/or visit www.dramakids.com.

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