Center hosts DARE2XL event
April 10, 2013
MIDLAND, Pa. – This Thursday evening, the mainstage theater at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center will ring with the voices of 100-plus elementary students from four communities, cheering and chanting the values of academic excellence, personal responsibility and hard work.
The 6 p.m. April 11 stage program is a year-end competition between youth in the DARE2XL after-school programs in Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, New Brighton and Rochester, to show how much they believe in those values. One of the four sites will win custody of a huge traveling trophy for the coming year, according to DARE2XL Program Coordinator Rick Sheffield.
"We have always done a motivational pep rally to bring our schools together at the end of the year, but we had to do it by videotape the past five years," he said. This is the first time for the event to be hosted by the Center.
Thursday's event, which includes dinner for DARE2XL participants and their families, will be supported with Center resources including a recent Broadway Education Alliance gift for general purposes.
"It's all about doing your best with no excuses, about excellent behaviors and showing your school pride," Sheffield said.
DARE2XL stands for Dream, Aspire, Reach and Excel. Since 1991 the Beaver County program has provided elementary school-age children with a safe after-school motivational environment for learning study skills, preventing problem behaviors and developing self-esteem.
Sheffield said DARE2XL is based on an excellence-conditioning model, where students learn how to perform well and consistently, not simply to achieve a one-time goal. The focus is on replacing high-risk behaviors outside of the schools with school-based achievement.
Elbie Yaworsky, special projects director for the Center, said, "The Broadway Education Alliance brings entrepreneurship and innovation to the field of theatre arts education and cultural studies through business partnerships with corporate brands, creative collaborations with artists and coalition programs with other arts institutions and programs like the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and the National High School Musical Theater Awards.
BEA, he said, focuses its expertise and resources on supporting programs and services like the DARE2XL after school program "because they enable parents and educators to inspire creativity, build confidence and stimulate critical thinking in the children in their care."
Dr. Donald E. Sheffield,President of TAME INC, developed and directs the program. He is the former director of Diversity Outreach Programs, assistant to the associate vice president for Outreach and Cooperative Extension, and affiliate professor of education at Penn State's Beaver campus.
Rick Sheffield said each week participating students learn a new vocabulary word that reflects the program's message. One recent word was "Vivacious," a person who is lively, spirited, charming and enthusiastic.
"One of their chants is, 'I am somebody,'" Sheffield said. "We teach behaviors, teach them to do their best in all they do. It is about that message."
DARE2XL Finale with Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, New Brighton and Rochester. Program Coordinator Rick Sheffield looks on.
Program Coordinator Rick Sheffiled and Dr. Donald Sheffield prepare to present first place trophy.
Aliquippa celebrates first place win in motivational pep rally competition.
About Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center
Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center is an arts, education, and cultural asset for western Pennsylvania and the surrounding tri-state region. Located in a beautiful park setting in Midland (Beaver County) Pennsylvania, the Center is home to Henry Mancini Arts Academy, Liberty Theatre, and also hosts arts education programs and other events. Since the Center first opened its doors in June, 2006, its mission has been to strengthen the cultural, educational, and economic vitality by making high-quality arts and education programs available, accessible, and affordable for everyone.
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