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providence after school alliance logoThe Providence After School Alliance (PASA) worked in partnership with Traveling Theatre, a local arts-enrichment organization, and several other community-based arts organizations to provide 20 high school students with arts apprenticeships in: film production, jewelry-making, improvisational theater, performance theater, visual arts, and ceramics.

PASA identified Traveling Theatre as a strong partner because of its experience training high school age workers in the principles of enrichment education and youth development. The objective of the ASAP program was for participants to serve in an internship as arts counselors during Traveling Theatre and PASA’s six-week summer camp.

During the apprenticeship, participants served as “master students” in after-school arts programs working directly with elementary and middle school youth. Through the “master student” approach, apprentices gain leadership skills gradually, moving from observer to practitioner over the course of the apprenticeship. In Saturday sessions, the apprentices engaged in team-building exercises and were trained in topics including theater skills, youth engagement, cross-cultural communication, behavior management and professionalism. Participants also submitted weekly blog entries to reflect upon their experiences with ASAP and lessons they learned through the program.

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, ASAP students worked as counselors in PASA and Traveling Theatre’s summer camps. Building on the skills developed through the spring apprenticeship, interns worked directly with camp instructors to prepare and teach arts-based enrichment lessons to over 200 elementary and middle-grades students.

Traveling Theatre continued to provide ongoing support to students throughout the summer internship, holding weekly check-ins to discuss challenges and provide youth development trainings on job skills such as resume writing, conflict-resolution and interviewing. At the conclusion of the program, two apprentices were hired by the Police After School Sports (PASS) program, where they serve as coaches and mentors to middle school youth in PASA’s AfterZones.