Young People and Students:

  • “I learned about labels. We can view someone as a victim or a bad person but when we go more into their story, we may see them the other way. I saw this demonstrated by the videos we watched with Janae [main character in a CAT drama], our perspective of her could change so drastically by seeing her in another situation.” — Middle School Student (Crisis Management Systems)
  • "With CAT this year I learned how to work better with others. I also learned to be more confident with my writing. The program helps develop good listening skills. Thank you for teaching our class this year. I had a blast!" — Middle School Student (Literacy Through Drama, After-School)
  • "It’s a program where you act, write your own stories, and have fun! It was awesome and they should do more of this so other kids could do it." — Elementary School Student (Cultural After-School Adventures [CASA])
  • "I've learned leadership isn't always about what you can do for yourself but what you can do for others.” — High School Student (Social Emotional Supports for Students)
  • "The thing that surprised me [about CAT’s Shakespeare program] was that everybody had to show lots of emotion to what they’re saying. You have to understand Shakespeare’s language to be able to perform it." — 4th Grade Student (NYC Student Shakespeare Festival)
  • "While working with CAT I learned a lot about how healthy relationships should be, and also a bit on gender equality and our ideas influenced by society on men and wom[e]n.” — Middle School Student (Crisis Management Systems)
  • "We need more spaces to have CONVERSATIONS like this, where no one is pushing an agenda. We are all just here to share ideas.” — Hunter College Student (Black Male Initiative)
  • "The biggest takeaway from Friday Leadership sessions were when we were able to speak and hold important conversations about the problems and issues that we're dealing with currently in the world. It helped give us a space to express our feelings on those controversial topics, along with enlightening us on how we could go about helping fix those problems and the thoughts of other fellow Sound Thinkers." — High School Student (Sound Thinking NYC)
  • "CAT Youth Theatre is about learning and growing. Everyone listens and is open without judgement. I don't know who I would be without CAT." — Youth Theatre Alumn (CAT Youth Theatre)


Educators and Professionals:

  • “CAT did a good job of creating believable, real-world scenarios that students may encounter in their own lives, and facilitated valuable discussions on how students can assess other's feelings, constructively critique responses, understand healthy communication, and what healthy relationships look/sound like.” — Middle School Educator (Social Emotional Supports for Students)
  • "CAT is implementing a highly successful mentorship and professional development program to incorporate interactive drama strategies in literacy instruction. Based on evidence from ongoing evaluation, the program is generating change in the way reading is taught and supported in grades K-2. CAT-ELP shows potential for improving foundational and higher-order reading skills including phonemic awareness, oral language, vocabulary development, inferencing, and analyzing characters' point-of-view.”  — CUNY Office of Research, Evaluation, and Program Support (Early Learning Program)
  • "I am a Dual Language teacher… The [teaching artist] that worked with me gave me the option to do the different activities in Spanish. Using interactive drama strategies, oral language skills and vocabulary development in Spanish helped me to support my English-dominant students in their second-language acquisition and to develop their essential social-emotional skills.”  — Early Childhood Educator (Interactive Storytelling)
  • "Children who hadn’t spoken all year were, all of a sudden, speaking. Children who were unable to express themselves, whether it was through voice or through actions, were able to participate, to be part of a group—to contribute in a positive way without being pointed out in a negative way. It was an awesome experience for them." — Early Childhood Educator (Interactive Storytelling)
  • “I learned how to consider other people's feelings while coping with my own. I understand that everyone has their own path in life and sometimes it is important for us to know that everybody will need someone in their corner for support. What matters is how we compromise as a team.” — Middle School Educator (Crisis Management Systems)
  • “I really like how you spoke about conflict and self-care. These are really important conversations that students need and will use for the rest of their life. I highly recommend this program for all classes. I can see all my students benefitting from this workshop. Thank you!” — Middle School Educator (Social Emotional Supports for Students)
  • "The Shakespeare Festival was a positive influence on the lives of my 30 NYC teenagers. They will never forget this experience. They learned not only about the wonders of theatre and performance, but also about the importance of collaboration. With all my heart, I send you the most sincere thanks and gratitude for allowing my class to have this wonderful theatre experience." — High School Educator (NYC Student Shakespeare Festival)
  • "Once again, CAT succeeded in building positive relationships with adult learners, and in helping them frame and reframe their understandings of themselves and their abilities." — Donna Linderman, University Director, CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (CAP/SEL Projects)
  • "Students detained at Rikers Island do not have many opportunities to engage in arts activities. During CAT workshops, they engage in role-plays, create characters and express themselves, or they share their ideas by writing poetry. All of the activities rendered by CAT support pro-social development and compliment academic objectives, helping to make the arts a valuable part of our educational program." — Francis A. Torres, Executive Director of Educational Services, NYC Department of Correction (CAP/SEL Projects)
  • "The final performance was an example of what happens when dedicated and passionate artists work with dedicated and passionate students. The students produced a variety of poems, songs, scenes, and dialogues that were a prime example of the creativity, passion and hard work that they exemplify in every area of their lives. I was blown away by how professional and heartfelt the performances were." — High School Community School Director (Cultural After-School Adventures [CASA])

View Our FY2021 Final Report


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