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Reach Out with this year’s P.A.T.H.S. program

The Frank C. Shattuck Performing Arts Touch the Hearts of Students (P.A.T.H.S.) program entered its tenth year this season with a new twist.

reach outReach Out, this year’s program title, began on Monday, Feb. 8. Students from The Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, YouthGo and Appleton Central High School will, for the first time, team up with local professionals as mentors to explore themes discussed in TIME® Magazine’s 6 Keys to Success through hip-hop dance and spoken word. The participants will attend Motown The Musical together and relate the show themes to hands-on workshops and their personal life stories.

One of the things I enjoy most about this program is watching how it evolves over the weeks. As each session passes, you see more and more students come out of their shells and really delve into expressing themselves through the arts, said Cassie Schroeder, education coordinator at the Center. This year it is also my goal that [the mentors] will be able to also witness this first-hand and maybe even experience it themselves!”

The six keys to success include energy and stamina, focus, sensitivity to others, flexibility, tolerating conflict and getting along well with others. Six 90-minute workshops take on each of these characteristics and puts them in the spotlight while learning the fundamentals of hip-hop dance from Tricia Bayer of Richard’s School of the Dance and spoken word from teaching artist Karl Iglesias of First Wave.

The goal of this program is to encourage students to positively express their feelings through arts, develop a drive for success and impact others around them by embracing character traits that make them outstanding individuals. For mentors, this is an opportunity to volunteer, impact local youth and encourage community partnerships.

I saw the P.A.T.H.S. program as a great opportunity to give back to the community and enrich myself at the same time,” said mentor Heather Thenell of Thrivent Financial. The opportunity to learn more about the arts of dance and spoken word and enjoy a performance alongside these students is very rewarding.  Making a positive impact on youth can be life changing for both of you.”

The P.A.T.H.S. program ends with a culminating experience, inviting mentors and students to perform a short dance and spoken word piece together for family and friends. The Center looks forward to once again bringing this program to the Fox Cities and seeing the difference it will make in the lives of all who participate.

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