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Winner's Camp

The Winners Camp organization is composed of a diverse group of artists and educators, who offer a variety of skills and knowledge. AAP,Inc. has an extensive history in youth empowerment programs, starting with Project Create. Other programs were: Afro-American Entertainment and Enlightenment Program, Girls, Inc. (with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts),Dallas Anti-Gang and Masala.

Our Goal

Envision a group of troubled children whose educational development is two or more grades behind standard level. Then imagine a world where these children could be placed in a private school environment. Suppose that they could have small, intimate classrooms with accelerated curriculum, designed to address a culturally-biased group of students. Learning would be enhanced through artistic programs, educational field trips, and personal interaction with teachers and staff. Visiting lecturers and inspiring films could illuminate their view of the world around them. Children who had never left their impoverished neighborhoods would discover a vast, exciting universe of possibilities.

This vision is realized in the Winners Camp. Last year, the results of the workshop were outstanding, and exceeded expectation. The students greatly improved their reading skills and acquired a new interest in reading. Their appearance, behavior and mode of dress became much more appropriate. More importantly, the students began to be aware that their lives had potential – that they did not have to remain within the confines of their financially and morally bankrupt environment.

Our Process

The students arrive with reading deficiencies, knowing nothing about art, theatre or culture. They have the opportunity to try various art mediums, creating several original artworks. They also learn some art history and theory while they are in class. The students will experience several kinds of theatre styles, and learn about specific writers of merit. They are allowed to participate in a theatre piece, learning about the way in which a work of theatre is mounted. Cultural history is a part of this theatre experience – children learn of important figures within their own culture, thereby offering the students a new sense of self-worth and awareness of their context within the world. As they begin to know who they are in this new, larger world, they are able to envision who they could become.

Evaluations are conducted at entrance to and exit from the program by an independent testing service, 

Students will be evaluated and assigned to small groups of 5 or less, with similar reading capabilities.  Teachers are trained in specialized techniques of reading for at risk youths.  The participants go through an accelerated program emphasizing spelling, grammar and comprehension.  Culturally relevant materials and worksheets are an integral part of the curriculum. This four-hour reading session will be the first activity of the day, followed by a balanced luncheon meal.

The students have the opportunity to learn about the arts from teachers who are professionals within their field. These people are accomplished in their areas of expertise, offering a wealth of real-world experience and knowledge. In the classroom, the children will experience original art, writing and theatrical works, presented by the artists themselves. They will hear discourse about the creation of these works and be able to ask questions. Films will expand upon the subjects studied in class, and allow students to view subjects from a different perspective.

Our computer lab will give the students the opportunity to learn basic computer skills.  These skills include knowledge of computer components, word processing, spreadsheets and computer presentation programs.  They will have access to the internet and all the resources for educational purposes.  The application of these skills will allow students to interface with the digital world they live in, and afford  opportunities otherwise unattainable.

Lectures will be given by visiting professionals with different areas of expertise.  These lectures expand the participants' view of the possibilities associated with higher education and different careers.  These role models offer tangible examples of achievement.  Scientists, government officials, engineers, computer software designers, teachers, doctors and community activists coming from varying socio-economic backgrounds offer a wide range of experiences and a plethora of knowledge.

Field trips will take the children into worlds that they have never seen, opening up new vistas for their imaginations.  From the top of the tallest building in Dallas to the bottom of Cowboys Stadium, the children experience sights, sounds and smells they would never have been exposed to in their normal environment.  Visits to museums, libraries, zoos, civic centers and college campuses, open ports of call from worlds unimaginable./font>

All of these elements combine to create a rich, multi--layered environment for growth and development, where children who have never had any kind of opportunity can begin to open up and unfold the beauty and strength within themselves.  This metamorphosis is birthed through WINNERS' CAMP. If you can imagine, you can dream, and dreams do come true.