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Monthly Archives: December 2010

I wish…


It’s that wishing time of year. It’s a magical time that makes you believe that if you say your wish out loud it has a chance of really coming true. Theatre Action Project is making an end of the year wish for a few things to help us in our mission. We hope you can help us make these wishes a reality.

Theatre Action Project Wish List
▪ Summer camp scholarships for under served children
▪ One month’s electricity/rent
▪ Kid-friendly craft supplies: construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors
▪ General office supplies: copy paper, staplers
▪ Gently used electronics: digital projectors, boom boxes, radios, digital cameras, video cameras
▪ Kid-friendly craft supplies: construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors
▪ Painting supplies
▪ Sewing supplies
▪ Summer camp scholarships
▪ Kid-friendly musical instruments
▪ Paper cutters & laminator
▪ One month electricity/rent
▪ Blank CD-Rs or DVD-Rs
▪ Gently used costumes
▪ Gently used tools
▪ Fire wire cables

If you can help, please contact: maryalice@theatreactionproject.org

FCC Forum On the Issues of Texting


Today, Tuesday, December 14, 2010 a Generation Mobile Forum took place in DC. The event presented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held the forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges around mobile technology use, including privacy, cyberbullying, sexting, and addictive behavior. There will be a recorded webcast live soon, http://reboot.fcc.gov/live/.

The forum included remarks by Chairman Julius Genachowski and a live video chat with actress and comedian Jane Lynch, currently staring in the TV show, Glee. Lynch serves on The LG Text Ed campaign, which is designed to help parents of teens become more aware of risky mobile phone behavior, such as driving while texting and sexting. The LT campaign also includes a series of public service announcements featuring Lynch.

A recent FCC surveys indicates cell phone ownership among children has increased 68 percent in the past five years and typical teens send a text message every 10 minutes during waking hours.

Check out these videos!
Video 1

Video 2

Building Community at Pickle Elementary


On December 5, 2010 Theatre Action Project teamed up with United Way and the Young President’s Organization, an assocation for local business leaders, to do a community service project at Pickle Elementary in the St. John’s neighborhood.

The group did the following:
*Created and decorated 75 meal boxes for neighborhood residents in need
*Created Dozens of Cards, ornaments and placards to share with children
*Created 2 large murals to beautify the school courtyard
*Built benches and picnic tables for garden areas around the school, allowing a peaceful space for kids to congregate
*Cleared school gardens used by science teachers as part of their curriculum in preparation for winter planting
*Installed a solar panel in the garden area to power a water fountain.
*Installed a Born Learning Trail designed to create teachable moments for parents and caregivers at the onsite playground.
*Built a compost area that will also be used by the teachers as part of their curriculum.
*Spread mulch in garden areas

“It was an incredible partnership between a variety of organizations and people from the community that will make a real impact on a school. The projects completed will leverage a host of community and curricular opportunities for the school and the community for years to come.” Karen LaShelle, Executive Director for Theatre Action Project.

TAP at the ACC Big Read Closing Ceremony

For the second year in a row, Austin Community College united with local nonprofits to create innovative reading programs for the nation’s The Big Read. This year, Theatre Action Project partnered with the campus to wrap-up The Big Read in a closing ceremony that showcased student artwork, and hosted activities directly related to stories the children had read.
The Big Read is a national program that focuses on revitalizing the role of American Literature by partnering with educational foundations such as ACC. Big Read’s objective is to excite reluctant readers about literature, and encourage reading for pleasure as well as enlightenment. The program started on Oct. 11 in Austin and ended in early December.
The closing ceremony for this year’s Big Read, titled “The Courageous Spirit: Facing Injustice,” took place this past Saturday, Dec. 4 at ACC on Rio Grande.
At the event, TAP displayed student artwork from an in-class program, “Journey Into the Story,” based on a Julia Alvarez children’s book, “The Secret Footprints.”
TAP also hosted two activities that related this story. In the first activity, children made shell bracelets for themselves or loved ones. In the second activity, students were asked to peek into a treasure box that safely kept the “most beautiful treasure ever,” and then draw it.
“I noticed that my students have a renewed enthusiasm for stories read aloud,” said a Metz Elementary teacher whose class participated in the Big Read. “I loved seeing them connect with the text and truly understand the lesson learned.”

TAP at the Paramount: Winter Showing of Junie B. Jones


Friday, before the Paramount showing of “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells/Batman Smells” at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, other TAP volunteers and I gathered to prepare crafts for the children to do that related to the performance they were going to see on Sunday, as well as for the holiday season.

We spent hours cardboard-tree trimming, star-shape cutting, picture frame gluing and repeatedly assuring that all materials were properly prepped for the big event.

On Sunday, another volunteer project leader and I caught the 1L bus to Congress Avenue and started setting up for the big event! We hung a banner that read, “Theatre Action Project” above several table tops loaded with sparkling decorations, pipe cleaners, construction paper, coffee filters and candy canes. All materials were neatly arranged so the children could decorate mini Christmas trees, assemble Junie B. journals (just like Junie B. uses) , construct picture frame ornaments, cut snowflakes and glue together candy cane reindeer.

I was impressed by each child’s creativity and ability to take similar crafts, and make their creation truly unique using merely markers, glue and pipe cleaners. As I helped the kids paste construction paper together, they told me about the Junie B. book they had just read in school, and which characters were their favorites.

I think Theatre Action Project did a great job integrating the holiday season and Junie B. activities for the children. By setting up craft making stations, kids were able to create something that had a direct correlation to the setting. I believe this made the entire process of visiting the Paramount more exciting and educational.

As a volunteer project leader, I’m very proud of the kids’ creativity and volunteers’ commitment. Everything ran really smoothly and everyone enjoyed it! I can’t wait to lead my next project with TAP.

Tori Daughtrey is a Volunteer Project Leader with Theatre Action Project. Theatre Action Project partners with the Paramount Theatre to lead engaging and educational arts activities before and after every show!