an organization, Working Classroom (WC) strives to provide a context
within which individuals from generally ignored communities can
develop their talents and use them to effect social change. Using
the arts to promote greater understanding between and across cultures
and races, members create art and theater that celebrates our rich
cultural and ethnic diversity and gives families an opportunity
to participate in these kinds of activities.
WC members are
encouraged to excel in the classroom as well as in their creative
endeavors. Participants are expected to stay in school, off drugs
and out of gangs, earn good grades, develop their craft, and contribute
to their communities in a positive way. In exchange, they are given
outstanding professional instruction, counseling and tutoring, paid
employment, opportunities for travel, and the chance to perform and
exhibit their work. Working Classroom operates on a system of contracts
that structures the relationship between responsibility, dedication,
achievement, and rewards, fostering necessary leadership and entrepreneurial
skills in students.
solid principles of committed long-term involvement, student leadership,
mutual responsibility and support, and global citizenship, WC
students serve on a board of directors, mentor younger students,
teach introductory-level workshops, and participate in an annual
retreat where they, as staff, choose the social themes for their
plays, murals, and exhibits. In addition, members may travel and
work in other countries, serve as hosts to artists and interns
from around the world, and often participate in international
human rights campaigns.
Working Classroom is a membership organization and students are
encouraged to enroll in the program during their last year of
elementary school, or their first year of middle school, and to
continue participating all the way through high school.