As entertaining reinforcement of more long-term educational programming, the TeenFestival Public Health and Education workshops and talent showcase contribute to the goals of closing the academic achievement gap and school drop-out prevention. The information below explains how.
TeenFest(ival) Public Health & Education Workshops
The four co-occurring workshops have anti-substance use (alcohol, drugs, and tobacco) and anti-violence (gang prevention, dating violence) themes. The teen workshops are presented by professionals whose daily job is substance use and violence prevention. The professionals present information to audiences (students and parents) based on the evidenced-based curricula supported by funding the State of NC, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The goal of the teen and parent workshops is to present the substance use and violence prevention facts in a way that helps students and their parents to identify how these risky behaviors interfere with the students’ daily lives (school, peers, and home). The focus is on providing students information that will help them to engage and persist in school (reducing both the achievement gap and the drop-out rate), and to hold themselves and their peers accountable for substance-free and violence-free behavior when adults are not around. The adult workshop provides tips on talking with teens about these tough issues. The elementary workshop builds resiliency skills that help students remain focused on educational pursuits.
TeenFest(ival) Talent Showcase
TeenFestival continues the messaging of the public health and education workshops by allowing the performers to be peer health educators for the afternoon. The performers include anti-substance use and anti-violence themes in their original performance art. In addition, the audience has a chance to win prizes for correctly answering questions about substance use and violence prevention facts. The facts are compiled by the TeenFest Foundation and are included in the free program books attendees receive when they enter the auditorium.
To assess the event’s impact and short-term goal of teaching substance use and violence prevention information, a survey is administered at intermission. The results typically indicate that attendees have learned the information that has been communicated to them in both the workshop and the talent showcase. Read more here.