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Youth Driven Solutions (Part 2 of 4)

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

Colorado Youth Participate in Anti-Bullying Project

Youth are often the biggest advocates of anti-bullying campaigns, and Young Playwrights for Change: The Anti-Bullying Project in Colorado takes on the issue of bullying in a powerful way, using the creativity and ingenuity of youth to communicate about bullying through theatre.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Educational Theatre Programs, in partnership with Theatre for Young Audiences USA and the American Alliance for Theatre Educators, launched the Young Playwrights for Change contest with the goal of producing meaningful discussions throughout classrooms, schools and communities about the topic of bullying and how to stop it.

The contest took place on both a state and national level and was organized by the youth leaders of the Community Health Action Team. The plays were written and directed by kids of middle school age, could be no longer than 10 minutes, with a maximum of 6 characters.

First, second and third place prizes along with four honorable mentions were recently announced and will be celebrated at the Young Playwrights for Change awards ceremony on April 5 at the Madcap Theatre in Colorado. The event is open to the public and those interested in attending this event can register for free here.

Colorado’s first place winner was also entered as a finalist for the National Young Playwrights for Change Competition. The winner of the national competition will have their play presented in a staged reading by up to four professional actors and a director at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Young Playwrights for Change Winners:

Bergen Haggart 1st Place Young Playwrights_032814
First Place
Bergen Haggart
6th grade
Manhattan Middle School
Boulder Valley School District
Title of Play: Dani’s Story
Maya Claridge 2nd Place Young Playwrights_032814
Second Place
Maya Claridge
7th grade
Prospect Ridge Academy Adams 12, Five Star Schools
Title of Play: Ruined Uniform
Gaia Malin Young Playwrights 3rd place_Image_032814
Third Place
Gaia Malin
8th grade
Louisville Middle School, Boulder Valley School District
Title of Play: An Extraterrestrial Guide to Greatness

The top three plays will have a staged reading at a Denver theatre in collaboration with a professional director and a Denver playwright. Additionally, the top three plays will be distributed to Colorado teachers as educational resources to address bullying in schools.

The contest highlights the importance and effectiveness of kids speaking to their friends and peers about how to combat bullying, and how to react when it occurs.

Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying and Its Impact on Youth across the Lifecourse: A Workshop

When: April 9, 2014 – April 10, 2014 (8:30 AM Eastern)
Where: National Academy of Sciences Building (NAS Lecture Room) 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418
What: At the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) will hold a two-day workshop that will feature expert presentations and discussion to highlight current research on bullying prevention as well as lessons learned from related areas of research and practice.

Visit the IOM website and register for the workshop

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