Grade 4 students at the Richard J. Murphy School were joined by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and non-profit organization Rehearsal for Life’s new executive director, Robert Kordenbrock, for an Urban Improv class last Thursday. Jackson Jirard, teaching artist and associate director of Urban Improv for Rehearsal for Life, led a song, sign language tutorial, and improvisational scene followed by a brainstorming session with the students to create their own scenes where Mayor Wu also participated.
Rehearsal for Life’s signature program, Urban Improv, kicks off its 30th year as a leader in social-emotional learning in the Boston Public Schools this school year. Since 1992, Urban Improv’s structured improvisational theater workshops are designed to strengthen social and emotional skills and help students deal creatively with real-life challenges and choices through dialogue and performance. Urban Improv serves over 1,400 students from grades 4 to 8 in an interactive program at seven Boston partner schools annually, including Hale (Roxbury), Murphy (Dorchester), Haley (Roslindale), Boston Teachers Union (Jamaica Plain), Conley (West Roxbury), Mission Grammar (Roxbury) and Josiah Quincy Elementary (Boston). The program is delivered in 51 classrooms as well as at Hope Central Church in Jamaica Plain. Workshop topics, customized to the student’s grade level, include bullying/cyberbullying, stereotyping, racism, homophobia, peer pressure, conflict, self-esteem, anxiety/coping, and more.
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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