Confidence Takes the Stage at Green Chimneys Talent Show

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January 29, 2016

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The stage is set and the gym is pumping. You can feel the excitement as students, family members and staff await the next act. A small child reluctantly takes the stage, and the boom of the microphone echoes as the emcee questions the audience, “Ladies and gentlemen, does Ian have anything to be afraid of?”

The audience immediately responds in a resounding “No,” and quickly individual cheers can be heard.
“You got this!”
“Come on, Ian!”
“You can do it!”

The music starts, Ian grabs the mic, and he doesn’t let go. He triumphs, singing his favorite song by The Weekend and even breaks a smile. Twice.

A Green Chimneys Talent Show is something to experience. For children in our residential treatment program, some of whom struggle with communication, impulse control and sensory sensitivities, expressing yourself to a crowd of people under a literal spotlight is a meaningful milestone.

The show isn’t as much about talent as it is about conquering fears and gaining confidence. The night offers our children a platform to take pride in something they have chosen to share. It’s an opportunity for them to collaborate with peers, making the whole experience great practice for appropriate social skills. It’s an evening of celebrating the “awesomeness” of each individual.

And that they did. There were several vocal pop performances, including one with live drums and an impromptu rendition of “Lean on Me.” Two students wrote their own raps based on their personal histories. There were creative approaches too, including one student who made origami ninja stars on stage under a tight timeframe. And then there were the groups of dancers, breaking down moves collectively and busting into our hearts.

For the children who reside at Green Chimneys, after school programming is both recreational and therapeutic. We rely on skilled employees, including recreational and art therapists as well as child care staff, to support our residents’ growth through safe, supportive activities. The Green Chimneys Talent Show is one in a concert of activities, and we’re so appreciative of the creativity and pride our staff brings to the “office” each day too.

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