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Actors on a Zoom screen

Thanks to a grant from Carl M. Freeman Foundation, ArtStream and the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County (DSNMC) expanded their reach with the Positively Speaking Program.

Executive Director of DSNMC Brooke Levey said, “As the Positively Speaking Winter/Spring Workshops wind down, the Board and I would like to thank the Carl M. Freeman Foundation. With dollars funded through the FACES grant and in collaboration with ArtStream, DSNMC grew its award-winning Positively Speaking workshops for adults with Down syndrome and expanded the program to include middle and high school students.”

The Positively Speaking workshops helped individuals develop communication and social skills through theatre practices. Brooke Levey explained, “The Positively Speaking Program teaches communication and helps participants become confident self-advocates. The DSNMC Board and I are inspired by the program teachers and participants and cannot wait to see what the fall programming brings.”

ArtStream feels incredibly grateful to be a part of this impactful program. We believe theatre and collaborative performance creates lifelong learning opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to gain the skills and confidence to engage with the world.

Brooke Levey noted, “As a result of the Positively Speaking programs, 40 individuals with Down syndrome are better able to:

  1. Speak more confidently and clearly in small and large group settings
  2. Write and present speeches
  3. Advocate for themselves by sharing ideas, beliefs, needs and wants
  4. Lead activities
  5. Make and maintain healthy relationships
  6. Engage in different forms of communication (conversation, Q & A, giving and following directions, taking turns, etc.)
  7. Stay connected during a pandemic”

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with DSNMC and cannot wait to see how they continue to positively influence the Montgomery community.