CES Spotlight blog posts shine a light on youth sector programs and initiatives in Ontario that are undertaking an evaluation journey in collaboration with YouthREX’s Customized Evaluation Supports (CES) at one of our regional hubs across Ontario. The blog posts describe the programs and initiatives and how evaluation supports their objectives to improve youth wellbeing.

In spring 2016,the Sudbury Theatre Centre began an evaluation journey with our Northeastern Hub through our Customized Evaluation Supports (CES) program.

Sudbury Theatre Centre
STC Academy

TARGET POPULATION
All youth (ages 5 to 18)

RELATED STEPPING UP THEME(S)
– Education, Training & Apprenticeships

CES START DATE
April 27, 2016

The Sudbury Theatre Centre’s Academy introduces youth to the magic of theatre in a supportive, social, and non-threatening environment.

MISSION
Sudbury Theatre Centre is a professional theatre company located in Sudbury, Ontario. The STC Academy offers a spectrum of arts-related programming for all age levels and aspirations, with a particular focus on school-aged children and youth (Kindergarten to Grade 12).

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
STC Academy classes are led by skilled and highly-trained instructors with extensive teaching backgrounds. Over 200 children and youth ages 5 to 18 participate annually in their drama and vocal classes and/or stage production course. Subsidies are available for students who cannot otherwise afford to participate.

“Theatre isn’t all about being the centre of attention. It builds confidence and self-esteem, challenges an individual’s comfort level and breaks down social barriers.”

– Sudbury Theatre Centre Website

The STC Academy provides weekly drama and vocal classes that culminate in an informal performance for parents and families. They also offer a five-month production course that leads to public performances.

“We have experienced significant growth in our Saturday classes over the past year and it would be easy to simply pat ourselves on the back and say it is because we are awesome, but are there other factors that are contributing to the program’s sudden growth? Are our participants more educated about theatre arts and/or music? Do they have a greater appreciation and understanding of their chosen art form? Do they experience a greater sense of belonging and community engagement?”

– Sudbury Theatre Centre

Why Customized Evaluation Supports? 

The STC hopes to garner feedback about their programs from a variety of stakeholders – not only from current students and their parents, or those who participated in programs in recent years, but also from those former participants who are now adults. They want to talk to students who have never taken one of STC’s classes but have heard of what they have to offer, to find out what kind of “street cred” their programs have.

Currently, the STC Academy is in the Action Phase, Step 4 – Collecting Evidence, of our Framework for Evaluating Youth Wellbeing.

“At the moment, several high school aged students who are also former students are assisting our Saturday morning instructors for volunteer hours.  So perhaps they would benefit from somehow being involved in the evaluation, having had the opportunity to look at our educational programs from both perspectives.”

– Sudbury Theatre Centre

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