Diane Ly-Leahy is a 5th-grade math and history teacher at the Richard K. Murphy K-8 School in Dorchester, MA. Here is her story of one of her students’ inspired (and inspiring!) response to Urban Improv during the pandemic:

During the remote learning process, I implemented the online Classroom Care Packages to help students manage strong emotions during the pandemic. Students enjoyed and looked forward to the Fridays’ Urban Improv ensemble presentations on Zoom in their Google Classroom. 

Over many sessions, I noticed the transformation of a student. This student was kind, respectful, and diligent, but shy and reserved. She joined every Zoom class meeting and always checked in on time. She knew her materials and answers but was always reluctant to raise her hand to participate in discussions. 

However, when she watched the Urban Improv video clips, she put on the headset and swayed slightly to the music. After the fourth clip, she actually raised her hand and contributed to the response questions. From that moment on, she was more comfortable chatting, raising her hand, and asking questions during online class meetings! 

After we covered Care Package #6: Welcome, Welcome/Imagination, she and her mother created their own stop-motion animation with Legos. The student reported that she had wanted to be creative, so she used her imagination to make the video like the one she saw in Urban Improv!

At Rehearsal for Life, we are fortunate to witness student transformations like this one at every turn, as our work opens the door to our students’ social and emotional growth. But to continue to serve our students, we need your support.
If you have not already done so, please consider making a gift to our annual giving campaign, helping us to grow alongside our students and to continue to inspire their voices and empower their choices.
Diane Ly-Leahy