Creating opportunities, changing lives
Students in Central Washington participate in a unique Washington State University outreach program that combines writing, performance, and theatre to help them prepare for college. Founded by John Fraire, WSU's former vice president for student affairs and enrollment, Performance as Education uses theatre and performance as a springboard to increasing the college attendance and retention rates of Latino and other underserved high school students in the rural communities of Central Washington. The students are brought together with a team of professionals—theatre personnel, educators, counselors—and together the students and the professionals produce professional, top-quality, original theatre for the state.
Warden was the first district to partner with WSU in this endeavor with hopes to continue this for many years. The original goal of the project was to help students who would not traditionally aspire to college to understand the opportunities available to them. Las Memorias changes students, giving them confidence in themselves and their abilities. It validates who they are, where they come from, and gives them a vision of where they want to be in the future. Students who participated in the past productions became the leaders in our high school. Many students went on to attend college. Las Memorias is more than a performance; it is life-changing for those students who take the risk and participate. Thank you to WSU and the wonderful sponsors of this program. You are making a difference in students' lives.
—Dr. Sandra Sheldon, Superintendent
Warden School District