Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actors and educators that creates an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations. Barrel of Monkeys is an arts and education company that teaches creative writing through specialized workshops in under-resourced public schools and then adapts and performs the student's writing using professional actors into in-school performances.
Barrel of Monkeys primarily works with the Chicago Public Schools, however, the organization has also worked at other Chicago area educational institutions. Since it's inception Barrel of Monkeys has taught and/or performed for over 93,000 students.
In 2005, BOM worked with 2500+ 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders who had literacy problems as well as significant deficits in self-esteem and confidence and helped them find their creative voices through their writing workshops. With its small staff of 4, board of 14 and artistic ensemble of 35 BOM has been able to document some great outcomes:
• BOM raises student enthusiasm for language arts by providing an interactive residency that creates a joyful environment to express ideas, followed by a hyper-energetic performance of students' writing.
• BOM builds self-confidence in self-expression and self-esteem by providing workshops that create a safe and supportive place to explore thoughts and ideas, while validating those ideas through high-quality professional performance.
• BOM builds confidence in English writing skills for all students by providing creative writing alternatives that include storyboards, student dictation and one-on-one writing workshops.
Additionally, in 2004 BOM was recognized and awarded a grant by the National Endowment of the Arts.
Having taken a class or two in language arts education, I quickly learned that for kids who have never been read to, one has to get really creative when trying to engage them in writing and other language arts. Creative writing and helping them find their voice is by far one of the greatest tools that can even the playing field with this group of kids. They just love it and they learn spelling, reading and grammar so quickly when they are encouraged to find their creative voice. To add a performance aspect to the stories only makes it better. Not only are kids given the tools to express themselves, but they also get to see it performed in front of their friends. These kids must feel really special when the BOM folks come to visit.
Send Your Dollar Today
Your donation to BOM can help fund these workshops. It can give them even more tools to make these performances extraordinarily special.
By Mail: Make it out to Barrel of Monkeys.
Send it to:
BARREL OF MONKEYS
2936 N. Southport
Chicago, IL 60657