On Thursday, January 26th we brought a group of Maturing Champions in Treme′ thru Extended Learning (MCTEL) students and several adult chaperons from their families to see the Lion King at the Saenger Theatre. Prior to our field trip, youth and their families shared in dinner and conversation about theater etiquette and expressed to the youth what to expect at the theater. We also extended the invitation to dinner to other participants of the program and youth from the Bienville Basin neighborhood since there was a limited quantity of tickets to theLion King. By inviting additional youth, we were able to increase our impact and to meet with youth outside of our usual programming. A large portion of our dinner was donated by a neighborhood restaurant, Neyow’s Palace. The gesture was greatly appreciated by our staff and our participants.
Even though the Saenger Theatre is in walking distance from our after school site, this experience was a first for the majority of our youth. The youth were provided with a culturally enriching experience and introduced to possible career pathways and interests that they might have not otherwise been exposed to or had access to. In the spring, we plan to continue to provide youth in our after school program and in the Bienville Basin neighborhood with similar opportunities to foster their thirst for knowledge, expose them to cultural aspects of the city, and to assist them in navigating career pathways.
Shantell Lee, Youth and School Engagement Coordinator