ENACT is thrilled to report that it has just been awarded a Hearst Foundation grant to build the capacity of its New York City programs and begin a pilot dissemination of its signature method on the west coast. The grant will help to support the training in the greater Los Angeles community of more than a dozen professional actors and drama therapists in the ENACT method while showcasing the model in select schools there. ENACT is collaborating with the Coalition for Engaged Education to develop the west coast training module.
ENACT is also featured in this month’s issue of Drama Therapy Review. In an article entitled, “Evaluating drama therapy in school settings: A case study of the ENACT programme,” ENACT Founder and licensed drama therapist Diana Feldman and Pace University researcher Thalia R. Goldstein show how a four-year evaluation of the ENACT program prompted the creation of assessment tools and curricula that have informed the method and allow the organization to continue measuring the success of ENACT workshops in facilitating students’ school engagement.
In November, ENACT will also share its use of assessment tools to measure student outcomes at the 20th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health, sponsored by the Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. This month, Diana Feldman was a presenter at the North American Drama Therapy Association’s 2015 Conference, speaking on best practices for working with systematically oppressed populations in school settings.
Drama therapy was known by few in the education system in the mid-1980s when ENACT’S programming began. Due to the program’s success in reaching some of the school system’s most challenging populations, ENACT quickly became known as a resource of choice in the New York City public schools and has served as a model for introducing drama therapy into the classroom environment. “With the increase in drama therapy programs now working with the school-age population, it is essential that representative programs continue to be evaluated, and that findings are used to inform the development of the field,” says Feldman.