Gettysburg Community Theatre Hosts Free After School Program For Kids

Gettysburg Community Theatre, the non-profit 501c3 organization located in the original Elks Lodge building at 49 York Street within the first block of Lincoln Square in historic downtown Gettysburg, will be starting a FREE After School Program at GCT for students in 1st-8th Grades. The program will begin September 5th and if enough students sign up, the program will be held Mondays through Thursdays between the hours of 2:30-6pm. Email Chad@GettysburgCommunityTheatre.org for the application to sign up for this FREE program.

"Kids need a safe, supervised place to go after school", says GCT Founding Executive/Artistic Director, Chad-Alan Carr, "to relax with a book, do homework, socialize with other kids from other grades, and also have supervised activities and games. Parents can rest easy, finishing their work day, running errands, getting groceries etc, and then coming inside to sign their child out before 6pm to head home to be with the family. Parents need a break and kids need to be off the streets and doing something productive rather than lounging on the couch in front of the TV all afternoon."

Theatre Arts is a perfect fit for an after school program because it utilizes so many different things. From literature to painting scenery, from music to dance, from improvisation/creative dramatics to learning about behind the scenes with stage lighting and sound equipment. This new FREE after school program at GCT will incorporate all of this and more, including a snack bar where everything is less than a dollar, to a quiet room for homework or reading books, to instructors that are retired or current public school teachers that can answer questions to help kids with their homework assignments.

"I was bullied and depressed in middle school", says Carr. "Had I not discovered a community theatre in my hometown, quite literally next to the campus where I could walk to every day after school to get involved in something productive and not getting into trouble, not only would I not have found my life's passion, but I am not sure I would still be here today. Theatre changed my life. It gave me something to look forward to after school and something to strive to keep my grades up so that I could stay involved in the extra-curricular and after school programs at the community theatre. Gettysburg has been very good to me since I moved here from Texas ten years ago. I want to give back. This after school program serves the GCT mission and there are a lot of youth in this community that I feel we could help. A FREE after school program seems like the perfect fit."

The Gettysburg Area School District is supportive of GCT's efforts in providing this after school program, and GCT has been fortunate to have GASD as the school district partner twice for GCT's Penguin Project, a theatre program that stars youth with special needs/disabilities in a fully staged musical annually. To help support this new FREE after school program, tax-deductible donations can be made to GCT's Taylor Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship was formed five years ago when a former student of Chad-Alan Carr's from Bermudian Springs High School died in a car accident. The Zimmeman family and Carr created the Memorial Scholarship in Taylor Zimmerman's name, and the fund has been helping and enriching students through musical theatre arts every year at GCT. Carr also hosts an annual Cabaret at GCT as a benefit for this Scholarship Fund. At the cabaret, he also announces the upcoming year's season line up of shows at GCT. This year's cabaret will be an official First Friday event, Friday, September 2nd with reception at 7pm and concert at 7:30pm featuring Chad-Alan Carr and Cabaret Pianist, Anthony Haubert. Tickets are going fast online at www.GettysburgCommunityTheatre.org and all proceeds will go to this Scholarship Fund that will help support the new FREE After School Program at GCT.

All of GCT's faculty/staff/volunteers have the required PA state background checks and there are many opportunities year round at GCT for youth, adults, senior citizens, and people with special needs/disabilities. More information about GCT can be found online at www.GettysburgCommunityTheatre.org

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