Camp Yes And for teens on the autism spectrum doubling its impact in 2016
Photo from Camp Yes And 2015
Bloomington, IN -- Last summer, the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at IU’s Indiana Institute on Disability and Community founded Camp Yes And -- a summer improv camp for teens on the autism spectrum and teachers.
In 2016, the camp will double its impact, offering one week of camp in Bloomington, July 11-15 and one week in Indianapolis, July 18-22, 2016. The Institute has launched a peer-to-peer funding campaign to support the camp’s free tuition for all participants.
At Camp Yes And, teens and teachers learn improv as a way to develop social communication skills and transform teaching and learning. The camp is designed to support verbal teens, ages 13-18, on the autism spectrum, or those with similar diagnosis, who would benefit from support around building social communication skills.
The camp also is a free professional learning opportunity for teachers – including para-educators, mentors, supervisors, etc. – of any discipline working in K-12 public or private schools, colleges and universities, or community-based settings such as arts or social services organizations.
Camp organizers say that improvisational theater, or improv, is not only a lot of fun but a highly refined system of observing, connecting, and responding that has one major rule: Yes, and. At its heart, improv is about group agreement and support – saying yes to each other and building something new together.
Once again, the camp will be co-directed by Jim Ansaldo, a research scholar at the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, and Lacy Alana, the Building Connections program director at the Hideout Theatre of Austin, Texas.
“Last year’s camp was very well received,” says Ansaldo. “We hope to make an even bigger impact by offering two weeks of camp in 2016.”
Feedback from 2015 camp participants was overwhelmingly positive.
"I will use what I learned in social situations at school," said one teen. A teacher noted, “These days, I use my Camp Yes And curriculum weekly to support my middle schoolers' language and social communication goals… and most importantly -- they love it!”
To learn more about the camp and to register, visit the Camp Yes And website. For additional information, contact Jim Ansaldo at (812) 855-6508 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.