The arts have long been recognized by educators for their power to connect people, heal communities, and raise awareness of public health issues.
Since 1986, Kaiser Permanente has been bringing health education to our communities through the Educational Theatre Program (ETP). Topics range from mental health to healthy eating to HIV. Our programs are developed by theatre professionals in collaboration with educators, community advisory committees, youth, and Kaiser Permanente health providers.
In Washington State, Kaiser Permanente is collaborating with Seattle Children's Theatre to bring important health information to young people in underserved communities. All programs are offered free of charge to qualifying schools. Educational theatre is one way of supporting health and wellness in a way that resonates with young people — and the communities they live in.
During the 2017–2018 school year, we are presenting "Above Between Below." The play shows how bullying and aggression can lead to damaged self-esteem and depression, and gives young people tools and strategies to cope with and avoid bullying. After each show students will have an opportunity to participate in a discussion with the cast aimed to spark further conversation about how conflicts emerge and to brainstorm positive alternatives. At least 18,000 children in more than 20 middle schools will see the production in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Whitman counties.
Our Educational Theatre Program is also planning other types of interactive, in-school arts and performance-based education.
This one-hour workshop pairs with the touring production. Teaching artists will work with students to further explore critical themes of the play.
This one-day workshop helps elementary-school children understand and use tactics to defuse and resolve conflict, including ways to:
Two artist-educators use roleplay to explore these ideas with students. After completing the workshop, students will be able to put words to a problem as well as their feelings about it, and use the steps in a role-playing exercise.
Over the course of a week, elementary-school students will have fun while learning how to make healthy choices. Key areas include: