EdVestors Program Begins at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School

Posted 5 October 2011 12:00 AM by Carol Smolinsky, Teaching Assistant and Magalie Neff, Teaching Artist

Carol Smolinsky is the Teaching Assistant for the Edvestors Program this year. She has worked with our programs extensively in the past year. She is an excellent Teaching Artist and actress in area theatre for young audiences.

I’ve been a Teaching Assistant with the Education Department since fall of 2010. In that time I’ve worked with elementary school through high school aged youth and a couple of community groups of all ages. The amount of knowledge, confidence, and skill I’ve gained in a year is unimaginable. I've worked with youth before in field trip settings, but never really one-on-one. In college I performed in shows written by youth, but never really learned how to interact with them. I've always had a desire to work with youth, but not enough background to work for any after school arts programs I’d applied for.

When the Education Department hired me to be a Teaching Assistant and an office intern, I was terrified. It was exactly what I wanted, but I had no idea what to do. Thanks to the support of the office staff, the amazing teaching artists, and the classroom teachers’ helpful management tips, I am now 100% confident in any situation. I’ve been offered plenty of chances to take the lead in several of the Target Arts projects as well as some special projects throughout the year, and I’ve gained great experience in group devising and getting participants who may not have any experience in theater to get involved. I’ve even taken the skills I’ve learned from all these talented folks to a new level, working as the lead Teaching Artist for the Charles River YMCA’s art camps this summer and getting involved in several shows geared toward children and families. I am looking forward to a slightly bigger challenge this year with the EdVestors program at the first high school I assisted in, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. I’ll be working with Magalie for the third time, but this is our longest residency together yet. I can’t wait to see what we, together with the students and the entire school community, can accomplish!

Magalie Neff is the Teaching Artist for the Edvestors Program. She is an area actress with extensive skills in youth development in the arts.

Excited. That word pretty much sums up how I'm feeling going into this residency at Madison Park Techinical Vocational High School. I am honored that I've been given the opportunity to be a part of this program again. Last year, I entered a room filled with young adults who, at times, weren't sure they were capable of creating an original piece. By the end of the program, those young adults wanted more to do. One day, I caught one student trying to skip class but when he realized I was teaching the class, he said, "Oh you're here Miss?". He told me later that he planned on skipping class but decided not to when he knew I was going to be teaching class. He said class was usually boring but he enjoyed my class. I was humbled by his comments but still had to remind him that he shouldn't be skipping class anyway!

The one thing I wish we had last year was more time. More time to do voice work, more time to work on stage presence and more time to rehearse. I am super excited that we have 30 weeks this year! This will give us plenty of time to work on all the things we didn't get a chance to before and then some. This is a wonderful opportunity to fine tune the talents all these young adults possess. I can't wait to meet our new students. I am so ready!

Stay tuned for more updates about the EdVestors Program!

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