Friday, November 12, 2010

Jamie Cavanaugh project a success!

On Friday, November 5, Sangamon Auditorium hosted a particularly unique project, “The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh.”  This play, by the innovative Canadian theater company, Roseneath Theatre, presented a family story of a young girl’s diagnosis and ultimate treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Additional social themes in the thoughtful script included in-school bullying and divorce. 

The day started with a Class Acts performance of the play attended by 550 3rd-8th grade students and teachers from throughout central Illinois. 

Later in the day, 35 educators and parents participated in a professional development event, “Exploring ADHD,” that began with a presentation by Dr. Glen Aylward from SIU School of Medicine.  Dr. Aylward’s presentation, “ADHD: Issues in Diagnosis and Treatment,” offered discussion about diagnostic issues, common misconceptions regarding ADHD, how it overlaps with other problems, and suggestions for interventions. Dr. Aylward’s presentation was made possible through Springfield Parents for Students with Disabilities. 

Also later in the day, 150 Girl Scouts, parents, and troop leaders from throughout central Illinois participated in a badge-earning event, “Dealing with Drama,” which included two learning components: one session about bullying taught by the Girl Scouts, and one session about drama taught by Carly Shank of Sangamon Auditorium. 

Beginning at 6 p.m., public displays and activities in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby highlighted learning about disabilities and disability resources in our community.  Attendees were able to try a mirror-tracing activity that mimicked how the brain of a person with dyslexia might have difficulty drawing.  In keeping with the themes of the play, attendees were also able to create a logo for their own super hero and write a recipe for friendship.

Finally, at 7 p.m., the main event occurred with the UIS Family Series presentation of “The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh.”  The five hundred in attendance were able to enjoy the performance and a brief post-show question-and-answer session with the performers from Roseneath Theatre.

Many thanks to our community partners in this effort, Springfield Parents for Students with Disabilities and The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, a Memorial Health System affiliate.  Along with Peggy Cormeny from Springfield Public Schools, these groups were incredibly instrumental in helping to spread the word in the community and help make the event a resounding success!  

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