Kids in West Virginia at First DEA YDP Class
The DEA Youth Dance Program continues its momentum inspiring over 6,000 children this fall through kick off assemblies in over 20 cities across the nation with their important message to express healthy lifestyles through dance and avoiding the dangers of drug use. Underserved schools in Baltimore, Chicago, Jersey City, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle and many other cities across the U.S. were informed of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, encouraged to express themselves artistically, and were lead through interactive exercises with professional dancers serving as role models. Students were then given the opportunity to partake in a 20-week program offering weekly classes and performance and scholarship opportunities that will continue into Summer 2014.
The DEA YDP Program, now in 21 cities is anticipated to grow to 25 cities by the start of 2014. Due to recent local and national support, expansion cities include Columbus, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix and Tampa. DEA YDP has witnessed an extraordinary response from students, administration and community. Classes filled up in less than 20 minutes in some schools, exemplifying the great need and thirst for the program. The wait list for additional programs continues to grow. DEA YDP is hopeful to meet the growing need to provide artistic outlets for children now more than ever as education budgets continue to cut the Arts from school curriculum. Further, we know that the growing rate in childhood obesity and increase in drug use across the U.S. calls for immediate response.
DEA YDP Instructors were eager to meet this need and learn how to address theses problems in DEA YDP classes. In New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., instructors traveled near and far to be a part of the annual DEA Youth Dance Program Training. DEA Special Agents were honored speakers sharing about the Drug Enforcement Administration, current drug trends with teens and helpful insight to truths and hazards of drug use. Instructors were also coached on DEA YDP themes, ensuring safety in classrooms, self-esteem builders, dealing with conflict, team building, discipline, decision-making, and expansive teaching tools. Nationally DEA YPD has an incredible team of passionate, capable instructors serving youth. Collectively, we are looking forward to making an even bigger impact as we enter 2014.