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Drumming up a good time

by Santa Clarita Valley Signal

07-12-2011

‘Beat the Odds’ program launches at Boys & Girls Club in Newhall

A group of 20 local Boys and Girls Club youngsters are “beating the odds,” and they’re learning the skills to prove it.

As part of a four-week pilot program known as Beat the Odds, the elementary-school youngsters at the Boys & Girls Club in Newhall are learning how drums can be used to build team work, listening skills and risk-taking skills.

“This is another example of what the arts can do when it’s a teaching tool,” said Adam Philipson, Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center managing director.

Beat the Odds is the latest program to join the Performing Arts Center K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program, which provides Santa Clarita Valley school children with hands-on activities involving the arts throughout the school year.

The summer pilot program will be followed by an eight-week Beat the Odds program that will launch this fall at selected Santa Clarita Valley elementary schools with students from low-income families, Philipson said.

Beat the Odds launched in 2007 at schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District, said Giselle Friedman, licensed clinical social worker who helped establish the program.

Soon enough, Beat the Odds became part of Southern California after-school and summer programs.

It arrived this summer in the Santa Clarita Valley at the Boys and Girls Club of Newhall with 20 kids in grades 3-5.

Local teachers who will be part of the Beat the Odds program this year are being trained by Remo Inc., the Valencia-based drum manufacturing company.

A recent study by UCLA researchers found that the Beat the Odds program can significantly improve such conditions as anxiety, attention deficit and hyperactivity.

“They’re learning social and emotional skills,” Friedman said of the students, “but on the drums.”

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