CAPITAL REGION CARES
CAPITAL REGION CARES
Photos courtesy of : Charr Crail , Putnam photo ( left ) and camp photo ( bottom right ); Jodi Eyerman , Aladdin photo ( top right )
Northern California School of the Arts Transformative Arts Education Elevating Life Skills
Theater arts can represent all the business community ’ s desirable traits ,” says Michele Hillen-Noufer . “ The personal skills needed for business — communication , collaboration , creativity — can be gained in theater arts . People must communicate and work well in teams , and have self confidence and self-knowledge , and that ’ s what theater arts teaches .”
Northern California School of the Arts provides holistic , individualized and professional theater arts training programs , supporting young artists from diverse communities to create , express and participate in theater arts educational opportunities . Through arts engagement , students are empowered to embrace social-emotional learning strategies and advocacy while creating a positive mindset towards themselves and their community .
As executive director , Hillen-Noufer brings decades of theater background and a master ’ s degree in education to oversee NorCal ’ s programming to 4,000 students across 23 schools throughout Sacramento City Unified School District . A $ 135,000 CARES Act grant from the City of Sacramento launched NorCal into 70 SCUSD classrooms in the 2020-21 school year . NorCal ’ s classroom count has more than doubled to 150 classrooms within the 2021-22 school year , due to the district ’ s enthusiasm for the programming .
“ Standing and speaking to a group can be critical in business , and if children are introduced to this early , it ’ s a tremendous boost to their comfort , confidence and capabilities ,” Hillen- Noufer says . “ We weave social-emotional learning strategies into all of our programs , which include The School Outreach Program , Summer Camps and Classes , The Performing Arts Corps , College Counseling and The Leadership Institute . We ’ re highlighting life lessons , coping skills , leadership skills , conflict resolution and more through lessons , theater games and exercises .”
NorCal programming aligns with state curriculum standards and by introducing students to an artistic process , it encourages the empathy and broader perspective that ’ s so important to building community . Hillen-Noufer concludes , “ This is an incredibly difficult time for students and NorCal programs continue to expand with the goal of building resiliency and optimism in the youth of our region .”
NORCALSOTA . ORG
74 comstocksmag . com | December 2021