Literacy To Life
I am the proud Program Director of Literacy to Life (aka The Paramount Story Wranglers), an arts-integration education program run through the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, TX. The program consists of 8 weeks of in-school creative writing and performance workshops with primarily economically disadvantaged 3rd grade students throughout Austin. After the workshops are complete, professional actors and musicians transform students stories from page to stage - turning their original narratives into a sketch comedy, musical variety show which we perform for their entire campus.
A 2013 analysis of the program found that students who went through the Story Wrangler program showed significant improvement in the areas of literacy, creativity, self-efficacy, and even school attendance.
In the past seven years under my direction, the program has grown three-fold. The Story Wranglers now serve nearly 1000 students directly each year in 20% of elementary schools in AISD. Additionally, we have performed at Austin City Limits, SXSW, Moontower Comedy Festival, and more!
Mitch's other teaching experiences include founding an arts education student group known as Conqui-Story-Dores while at St. Edward's University, an Afterschool Teaching Artist position at Creative Action, a writing instructor for Chicago's youth development program She Crew, tutoring through Chicago's Inner City Teaching Corps, leading writing and acting workshops through After School Matters, training Austin ISD teachers on how to more effectively use the drama-based instruction in their own classrooms through the Creative Learning Initiative, teaching leadership and volunteerism workshops with Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership,and teaching English abroad in both India and Peru.