"CAT's workshops help students develop a strong sense
of identity and are an exceptional introduction to the arts."

"It is just this kind of positive experience that can have a
lifelong impact on students' attitude toward school and themselves."

"The program ensured that students receive sufficient literacy instruction
that is an enhancement, and not a replacement, of school curriculum."

Elementary/ Middle School

Short-Term Programs: CAT's program for grades four through eight embraces a holistic approach to nurturing self-esteem, resilience, pro-social behavior, and literacy. CAT’s powerful dramatic fictions raise challenging questions and motivate youth to go in search of their own answers by problem solving, both emotionally and intellectually. The final challenge is to turn toward the future to reapply their new discoveries in the reality of their everyday lives.

Full-Year Residencies: Since 2007, in partnership with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), CAT has engaged in intensive, full school-year residencies in 8 schools. The project-based curriculum, developed in close coordination with classroom/afterschool teachers, directly addresses academic learning objectives in accordance to the NYS Common Core Standards in English Language Arts (ELA). In September 2010, CAT began an additional three-year DYCD-funded term as professional development provider for eight other organizations that provide similar programs.

After-School Residencies: this 6th grade after-school program uses an arts-based community involvement approach to generate strong student engagement and promote literacy learning that aligns with NYS Common Core Standards in ELA. Meeting twice a week, the rigorous curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of individual students as well as the group, incorporating project-based and experiential learning models that foster student critical thinking and literacy skill development.

Also Available: NYC Student Shakespeare Festival, CAT Youth Theatre (grades 6 and up), Professional Development

About our NDA In-School Programs

Our program features a team of professional actors who create original and interactive theatrical experiences for elementary and middle school students.

We transform the traditional classroom setting through our use of costume, music, character and set design.

The students play an integral part in the drama, taking on specific roles in order to build those literacy skills required by the New York State Common Core Standards in ELA that will be useful in their everyday lives.

Recent roles (and literacy skills) explored by students include:

  • Hollywood Film Producers (Organizing Ideas and Creative Imagining)
  • Farmers (Visualization and Character Analysis)
  • Pastry Chefs (Following Directions)
  • Authors of Fiction (Descriptive Writing)
  • Event Planners (Attention to Detail)
  • Game Show Contestants (Listening and Team-Building)
  • Video-Gamers (Kinesthetic Learning)
  • Investigative Journalists (Researching and Making Inferences)
  • Eye-Witness Reporters (Sequencing and Re-Telling)
  • Private Detectives (Examining Evidence and Drawing Conclusions)
  • Conflict Mediators (Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving)

Students will:

  • Develop and strengthen their communication and literacy skills
  • Improve their critical thinking and social-emotional skills
  • Through DYCD partnerships, achieve higher grades or English Language Arts test scores

Participating teachers reported improvements in students’:

  • Literacy skills - communication, participation in literacy activities
  • Academic skills - viewing/observing, interpreting, distinguishing cause from effect
  • Social-emotional skills - stating clear purpose, presentation
  • Grades or ELA test scores (DYCD partnership schools)

Participating teachers experience creative, interactive ways to support the NYS Common Core Standards in English Language Arts 

  • Identity and self-esteem
  • Literacy
  • Peer/family relationships
  • Communication
  • Positive alternatives to violence and bullying
  • Cultural sensitivity/awareness
  • Test prep/college prep/life goals
  • Positive alternatives to substance use/abuse

Katherine Almirañez Chua
Elementary/Middle School Program Director

Farasha Baylock

Keldrick Crowder

Camille Gaston

Kristin Rose Kelly

Eric Robinson

Joey Schultz

Amanda Valdes
Administrative Assistant
Actor/Teacher Swing

Ayanna Williams

Adolescent Literacy Program

Helen Wheelock
Program Director
Early Learning Program
Adolescent Literacy Program

Lexy Nistico
Projects Director
Early Learning & After-School Programs

Andre Dimapilis


Brisa Muñoz
Program Assistant


© 2017 Creative Arts Team

101 W. 31st Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10001 | (212) 652-2800 | info@creativeartsteam.org

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