International drama organization offers Tucson kids an opportunity to boost their confidence while also working on practical skills to make them more competitive in the world at large.

Drama Kids International, which has enrolled more than 45,000 students at more than 1,500 locations worldwide, promises to help develop children to their fullest potential, including at the Tucson location. Each week, Drama Kids provides different and challenging scenarios students then work through with the help of highly qualified teachers.

According to officials, Drama Kids focuses on building the skills of each child to help them succeed and be more social at school.

“This directly leads to higher grades, increased self-esteem and overall school performance,” said Robert Kaplan, the director of Drama Kids International of Tucson. The program runs continuously throughout the school year, except for major holidays, but Drama Kids does offer activities and camps during weeklong school breaks.

Classes are only one hour per week, available several times during the week at each different location and class sizes are limited to 20 students, according to the website. Drama Kids’ curriculum focuses on developing speaking skills, confidence and acting skills from children ranging from 3 to 18 years old. The smaller class sizes allow teachers to give students more one-on-one interaction and recognition.

Our specialty is using a wide range of unique drama activities to focus on bolder, more outgoing students, according to the website. We also specialize in drawing out shy or inarticulate students and help them discover their full potential.

We develop public speaking, leadership, team building skills in students and use drama activities to help build self-confidence, said Suzanne Kaplan, the co-founders and educational consultant for Drama Kids International of Tucson.

Drama Kids boasts an expansive library of learning experiences that the program is structured so that students can join while in kindergarten and continue on through 12th grade — all without repeating a lesson.

The Drama Kids “secret sauce” for success includes a fun, fast paced and developmental curriculum with more than 450 detailed lesson plans that ensure happy and successful students.

Drama Kids performances are scheduled twice a year, with a mid-year performance typically in late January/early February and a year-end production slated for mid-June. All students are on stage for the performances.

Bullying

Drama Kids International has also begun a new STOP BULLYING program made available to members of the Tucson community. These ‘Act UP! To Stop Bullying’ workshops are intended to educate students, kids and families, educators and other community members on the harmful effects of bullying.

The ‘Act UP!’ program will use group discussions, student-participatory drama and other related activities to teach children about the various forms of bullying. Bullying, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, is the most common form of violence in our society — between 15 to 30 percent of students are either bullied or are bullies themselves.

“Drama Kids maintains that drama is a fundamental part of education that teaches children to speak out clearly and relate confidently with peers,” Kaplan said.

For more information about Drama Kids International of Tucson, visit Dramakids.com or contact Robert or Suzanne Kaplan at 520-304-2876 or email at dramakidsaz1@cox.net.