LOUISVILLE, Ky. & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VibrantNation.com, the leading online community for smart, successful women over 50, today announced that Mel Ryane, founder of The Shakespeare Club, an after-school program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in Los Angeles, has been named Vibrant Nation’s “Vibrant Giver” for November 2009.
A writer and dialogue and acting coach, Mel Ryane found herself in creatively fallow period during the same time when a local elementary school was reaching out to the community for help. She volunteered as a reading mentor and soon came up with the idea of kids discovering empowerment through the plays of William Shakespeare.
“I was also disturbed by the high percentage rates of young teens dropping out of school,” commented Ryane. “My thought was if seeds could be planted earlier maybe some of those numbers could be turned around so I began to focus on kids in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. I love seeing kids discover their capabilities as they stretch to the highest bars of language and bravely perform in front of audiences. Most of these children have never seen a play, let alone acted in one and certainly not Shakespeare.”
Today The Shakespeare Club operates at Walgrove Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The program has 20 student actors plus one stage manager and two other students who handle lights and sound for a total of 23 participants. In addition, another 15 additional students typically work on props during their lunch break.
“Mel Ryane’s ability to use her talent and passion for theatre is truly making a difference in all those she touches,” said Stephen Reily, founder and CEO, VibrantNation.com. “This kind of inspirational, selfless and challenging work is reflected in Vibrant Women across the nation.”
“I started my blog as a way to get the stories of these kids out into the world,” added Ryane. “I would love to see Shakespeare Clubs pop up all over the country but, in lieu of that dream, I hope people read these stories and get inspired to do something in a public school. One-on-one reading with some little kid is hugely gratifying and can make a gigantic difference in a child's future. Support my cause by starting your own.”
To learn more about The Shakespeare Club, please visit www.teachingwill.com.
VibrantNation.com will continue to announce and profile one Vibrant Giver each month. Because no one recognizes the strength in Vibrant Women better than other women like them, members of the site are invited to nominate others for this honor. To nominate a Vibrant Giver, visit http://www.VibrantNation.com/vibrant-giver.