A Performance Is Not Enough – MWAH! as Facilitator and School-Community Organizer

 

 

The MWAH! troupe-initiated school-community collaboration process includes a performance or presentation focusing on key issues encountered by today’s youth and their families and highlights the helping process in place at the school for students who may be struggling with one or more of these issues.

 

The one-hour presentation, including students and administrative and support staff from the school, would highlight and explain the school’s helping process and specify the resources in place for students showing a need for them.

 

Using a basketball analogy, a three-point shot concept is central to this process – awareness of a problem, seeking help for it, and then getting whatever help is needed.

 

There would be no MWAH! performance or presentation unless or until an effective helping process is in place at the school.

 

The school also must have bought into the concept of a data tracking system developed by the MWAH! troupe in collaboration with the School of Social Work of the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus).

 

While safeguarding the privacy of a student and her or his family, this system would track the student’s signs of needing help and show the process of whatever help is needed.

 

This helping process would not be limited to resources within a school, but it would include appropriate community resources outside the school. An example might be a licensed clinical social worker, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist from a nearby mental health-related agency or medical facility.

 

The primary mission of the MWAH! troupe (Messages Which Are Hopeful!) is to empower young people with the knowledge, courage, and strength to deal with life’s challenges, thereby changing and saving lives.

 

Continued harm to oneself or others, or the threat of harm, should never be an option for any student.

 

The social work-based MWAH! program is a catalyst in assisting schools and their surrounding communities in the effort to fulfill this mission.