Teens Casting Couch [VERIFIED]
A boy comes to the house of a schoolmate, a girl, to study algebra. As the evening progresses, he reads the girl a romantic poem. They decide to watch television, and sitting close together on the couch, they click through the channels. Every station carries a feature with overtones of sex: Beavis and Butthead, a soap opera, the singer Madonna, a perfume ad, co-ed jello wrestling. The couple turn to each other and discuss what they should do. In the end, they decide to return to the algebra homework.This scene is one from "Let's Talk About AIDS," a fast-paced musical that teaches HIV prevention to middle school children. With a script by playwright Sandra Deer and casting through Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, the play is funded by a nonprofit foundation, Project MAGIC, which stands for Making AIDS Go Away in Children. Since the summer of 1992, more than 80,000 middle school children in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have benefited from its message. The production is now on its way to becoming a statewide effort in Georgia, averaging 12 performances a week, with bookings filled up months in advance.Founder Carol Bernstein began Project MAGIC as a one-woman campaign to get the message about HIV and AIDS to middle schoolers. The wife of a physician and the mother of two children, Bernstein saw a great need for such a teaching vehicle in Georgia, which has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the United States. "That statistic tells us that teens are sexually active and not using any form of birth control," says Bernstein. "Therefore, they are at high risk for AIDS."National statistics validate the need for HIV education in this age group. According to the Office of National AIDS Policy, a quarter of all new HIV infections occur in young people between the ages of 13 and 20. That translates into two Americans under the age of 20 becoming infected with HIV every hour of every day.To aid in strategic planning, Project MAGIC has established a fellowship program at the Rollins School of Public Health. Fellows are evaluating the effectiveness of "Let's Talk About AIDS," conducting surveys and focus groups with student audiences, and developing a curriculum package that includes follow-up activities. Of more than 80 students who applied for these fellowship positions, three were chosen to work on the project. Kristen Soukup, a student in health policy and management, emphasized program development during her fellowship year. Janna Cordeiro added the perspectives of a student in behavioral sciences and health education. Another fellow, Sakinah Carter, is an international health student and interested in educating communities and populations.Claudia Fishman, an anthropologist and assistant professor at the school, coordinates the fellowship program. She is comparing the play's message with academic literature on such presentations. According to Fishman, Project MAGIC's efforts are on target in having a narrow focus on specific risk-taking behaviors, on stressing social influences and pressures, and in personalizing the AIDS epidemic by drawing on audience participation. Designing a follow-up activity, facilitated either by fellows, schoolteachers, or peers, will be an important addition to the play, Fishman says. In "Let's Talk About AIDS," a play sponsored by the Project MAGIC Foundation, actors use rap music, modern dances, monologues, and skits to teach school children about HIV prevention. Since the summer of 1992, more than 80,000 middle school children in Georgia and North and South Carolina have seen a performance of "Let's Talk About AIDS." Fellows at the Rollins School of Public Health assist the Project MAGIC Foundation with strategic planning, evaluating the effectiveness of the program as well as developing a curriculum package that includes follow-up activities. Spring 1997 Issue Our Modern Plague A Prayer for AIDS REAL Life LessonsPutting a Price on Prevention An Epidemic Ignored It's MAGIC Supporting Player School Sampler Alumni Sampler WHSC RSPH Copyright Emory University, 1998. All Rights Reserved.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.Web version by Jaime Henriquez.
teens casting couch