Sunday, December 4, 2011

Teens Express

Today's post is about an organization called Teens Express, once known as Songs with Meaning, Inc. (SwM). Teens Express has provided "its program participants with a reliable, secure, and productive environment," for not only academic pursuits, but also for their life and creative skills, since 1998. They utilize practical and artistic workshops to better the youth of the area, as well as the adults charged with the care of those youth.

The Teens Express organization serves all youth in the Washington metro area, specifically in Wards 7 and 8, as well as Prince George's County, Maryland. The participants come from all sorts of ethnic and lifestyle backgrounds, including about 80% of whom are at risk of "not reaching productive adulthood, or falling prey to crime," and "other obstacles to obtaining a degree, or successfully entering the workforce."

Teens Express aims to provide a safe, reliable area for the youth to come to, but that's not all the organization aims to provide. The following are the goals:

    "1) To demonstrate, and instill Bibical values within the lives of our Youth through the application of various Community Developmental Assets and the Performing, and Literary arts.
2) To provide Youth participants with opportunities to teach peers, and community through original artistic expression, and productions.

     3) To provide Youth program participants with vital life skills development designed to help enhance, and [supplement] their academic accomplishments."

Through their work, the group has put together a wide variety of useful programs for their participants, such as their "Think or Consequences" workshop in 2000, or "Children's Community Testimonial Chorus." Teens Express has even produced a DVD of their work.

The curriculum over at Teens Express follows mostly half-hour increments, with one 75 minute workshop in between. At the end, they follow a 15 minute wrap-up. Below is a break-down of the curriculum:

  • Social Time, Artistic Diversity, and Warm-ups: 30 minutes
  • Training and Development: 30 minutes
  • Production Development and Rehearsal: 75 minutes
  • Life Skills Training: 30 minutes
  • Announcements, Clean up, and Dismissal: 15 minutes

The youth will also be given the opportunity to participate in a 9-week summer activity, from June to August. The activity involves rehearsing for, and eventually performing, the Teens Express production The Message, as they do each year. Field trips, outdoor activities, and other performance projects are made available during the Summer Activity.

During the school year, the youth of Maryland meet on Mondays from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. During the summer sessions, each meeting begins at 6:00 PM rather than 5:30 PM, and ends at the same time on the same day. Youth development sessions are held at the H.O.P.E., and Resource Center, in Glenarden Maryland.

Please keep in mind that the program is Christian-oriented, and that there is quite a bit of mention of Christian education on the website. If you are offended by religious proselytizing, this may not be the program for you. Keep that in mind, please.

At any rate, good luck making your world a Brighter Earth, and keep on doing good!

Further Links!/Teens_Express

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