While all of CAT's programs are designed through a social emotional lens, CAT’s Social Emotional Learning projects facilitate curricula especially focused around themes that mirror the issues young people and their educators and parents face, supporting each population in identifying challenges, predicting consequences, and finding healthy solutions. These themes include community building, violence prevention and communication, conflict resolution and building healthy relationships, health and wellness, leadership, and racial equity.
The bulk of this work is facilitated by the CAP team (which stands for College/Adult Program, even though they work with participants of all ages!).
Through theme-based workshops, the CAP team uses interactive drama and skill–building strategies to capture a panoramic view of our society and zoom in on specific issues and behaviors that create challenges in our lives. These workshops create an environment where participants carefully examine choices, decisions, and consequences to raise awareness, discover solutions, and promote problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking, confidence, and self-advocacy skills.
For college students, CAP provides students with the opportunity to examine through an active learning model issues related to academic success and social-emotional/life skills development. CAP’s workshops use a culturally competent approach to support social-emotional development and academic, college, and career success. Using drama, theatre games, and interactive activities, participants get a chance to practice soft skills during their sessions. CAP facilitators then guide the participants in a curated conversation on the chosen topic using a student-centered learning approach.
From single day workshops to yearlong residencies, CAP uses theatre and interactive drama strategies with middle and high school students to explore topics that mirror the current issues young people face, helping them identify and critically think about their challenges, predict consequences, and find healthy solutions. Topics include building community/creating brave spaces, violence prevention, conflict resolution, health and wellness, arts making, racial equity, and leadership.
Here's what CAP participants and partners are saying...
- “I learned about how to have some time to care and reflect about yourself. I don't usually take time to do self care but I do understand what it means and therefore, I will try to make some time for myself. I also learned to be aware of others feelings and think about the result of what might happen. I learned to not change myself just for a person and make sure that I am happy and healthy. Thank you for teaching me and my class this year!! :]” — Middle School Student
“I learned that you can resolve conflict many ways other than just being mad immediately.”
— Middle School Student
- “Something I learned was how to improve and stay in a healthy relationship.” — Middle School Student
- “I learned new coping mechanisms for my mental health!” — Middle School Student
- “I really enjoyed how you engaged the students and had them make connections! I also like the way you used real life scenarios for them to think in depth about. You presented the information very clearly and made it relatable to the kids. Thank you!” — Middle School Educator
- “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
- “CAT provided diverse situations for students to engage, discuss and gain self awareness. It provided social emotional learning as well as learning about communication.” — Middle School Educator
- “Great job showing our students how to have healthy relationships with others as well as them reaching their goals in life. Thank you for your time!” — Middle School Educator
- “I've learned leadership isn't always about what you can do for yourself but what you can do for others.” — High School Student
- “I learned how to understand other people on how they are feeling or what they have to go through from their perspective.” — High School Student
- “I learned how to be a better listener when I get frustrated with others.” — High School Student
- ”[I learned] How insightful many of my students are.” — High School Educator
- ”We need more spaces to have CONVERSATIONS like this, where no one is pushing an agenda. We are all just here to share ideas.” — Student, Hunter College
- ”I value how we searched ourselves to acknowledge what type of individual power we have. Self examination is something I always enjoy though don't do often enough!” — Student, Hunter College
- ”I really loved the fact that [CAT staff] were both very hands down type of people and tried to get to know us at first. Not only that but the discussions we had were specifically for people who have issues communicating and how we can do that better through a virtual 'life'. I really also appreciated that Mr. Tocruray [CAT Project Director] was very kind while explaining these situations without really cutting our ideas or beliefs.” — Student, New York City College of Technology
- ”I appreciate that this workshop talked about consent. And how important asking consent is.” — Student, Guttman Community College
- “You have taught me that in life everyone at times will need someone’s help. I will not be embarrassed to ask for it. For that I am grateful.” — Student, College of Staten Island
- “I loved that the students saw a familiar situation that they could easily relate to and were pushed to view it from a different perspective.” — Faculty, Borough of Manhattan Community College
- “I wish this particular workshop could become a required experience for every CUNY faculty, staff, student, administrator, so we in CUNY could become the catalyst for such discussion citywide, and nation-wide.” — Professor, College of Staten Island
Current workshops include:
A-GAME (Academic Enhancement)
Higher education is available, yet many have not taken advantage of it. This session engages participants through drama and skill-building activities to explore individual strengths and what it takes to succeed academically. Through this collective process, participants will discover strategies and resources to support their academic excellence.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH—TITLE IX (Sexual Harassment)
CUNY’s policies prohibit sexual harassment and sexual violence of any kind. Through participatory strategies, this workshop will raise awareness of the boundaries, resources and protocol of Title IX policies in order to co-exist and be productive in a safe and secure academic environment.
“WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO?” (Financial Awareness)
Money is hard to manage, especially in one of the most expensive cities in the country. What are our attitudes regarding financial literacy and how we make and keep our money? We will explore these questions and expose what the wealthy already know about making and managing money, through interactive activities in this participatory workshop.
COMBAT CULTURE XL (Violence Prevention)
The inability to cope with war, gun violence, hate crimes and injustice has caused attitudes and behaviors that have negative effects on our society. This workshop examines the origins and consequences of a volatile environment and explores the skills needed to problem solve and prevent adverse consequences.
LAND OF THE FREE… (Health and Wellness)
How do we take care of ourselves as our mental, physical and emotional health are affected by struggles with education, healthcare, inequality, politics? This workshop explores the myths and challenges of living in a world in crisis. Through interactive drama strategies we’ll raise awareness, discover meaningful solutions and define what it takes to be healthy in America today.
TECHNOLOGY TURMOIL (Communication)
Living online has become our societal norm. Technology has advanced faster than we can comprehend. Instant access, cyber-socialization and screen addiction are part of our everyday lives. We become vulnerable to a plethora of social issues that can hurt us. Join us as we explore solutions and best practices to effectively navigate the pros and cons of life in a cyber world.
PARENTING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Parenting in today’s society presents many challenges never imagined by former generations. This interactive workshop addresses common obstacles, including violence prevention, peer pressure, the generation gap, technology, risky behavior, and academic challenges, while exploring alternatives to reach positive outcomes.
College and Career Exploration
How does a high school senior prepare for college? This interactive session helps participants make better choices in their college and major selection for a future career. Through drama and skill-building activities, participants will discover the options and resources available to help them make informed decisions in their college and career exploration.
Overcoming Barriers (Conflict Resolution)
The process of graduating high school and entering college is filled with obstacles; however, with the right guidance, students can better navigate those challenges by accessing the right resources. This session helps students critically think about the choices, decisions and consequences of their own actions in terms of communication, resilience and self-efficacy to achieve their goals.
Interested in learning more or booking a workshop?
Email Priscilla Flores, CAP Director.
CAP also provides a variety of Professional Development workshops.
CUNY-CAT is an approved New York State Education Department Sponsor of Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE).
CUNY-CAT is an approved NYC DOE Vendor.
Recent Conferences & Trainings:
- Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs Annual CUNY All Staff Conference, NYC - 2014
- Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH), NYC – 2014
- Because KIDS COUNT Conference, Indianapolis, IN – 2014, 2012
Supporting Excellence Conference: A Public University's Role
In An Age of Mass Incarceration of Communities of Color NYC – 2014
- National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Convention, NYC – 2014
- Civic Corps (Mayor’s office training) professional development, Brooklyn, NY – 2014
- Graduate NYC Conference, NY – 2014
- Webinar working with African American Families - 2014
- CUNY Service Corps, NYC - 2014, 2013
- STAR ESI Professional Development @ Erasmus, NY - 2013
- ESI & Summer Bridge @ BCC, NY - 2013
- Black Male: Re-Imagined II, NYC – 2013
- Black, Latin and Asian Caucus (BLAC), Albany – 2013
- 7th annual Black Male Initiative (BMI) Conference, CSI – 2012
- New England Theater Arts conference, Boston – 2012
CUNY-CAT is an approved New York State Education Department Sponsor of Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE).
Priscilla Flores, a native New Yorker, currently participates in creating and delivering CAT programs for college students, incarcerated adolescents at Rikers Island, and parents and families in social service agencies and shelters. She began her journey at CAT as a Scheduling Assistant, became Scheduling Coordinator, and then served for two years as both an Afterschool Actor-Teacher and a Program Manager, supporting the High School and College/Adult Programs. Ms. Flores has performed Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, in productions at Theatre for the New City (The Fake History of George the Last, Brunch at the Luthers, Bread and Puppet Theatre’s Divine Reality Comedy); Bronx Hispanic Festival (Tomando Café), NYC Fringe Festival (Evangeline); and others. She joined CAT in 2004.
Temesgen has been a teaching artist on the CAP team for the past four years. He has used the power of theatre to empower young people and adults in NYC schools, community centers, Rikers Island, CUNY colleges, as well as other national and international venues. Originally from Texas, Temesgen also works as a professional actor.
Director, College/Adult Program (CAP)
Project Director, SEL Projects
College/Adult Program (CAP)
Manager, College/Adult Program (CAP)
Director of Resource Development
CAT is an approved NYSED CTLE Sponsor and NYC DOE Vendor.