A post by Valerie Koenig, PAA parent & staff.
My six year old daughter attended her first PAA Intensive program in June. She was among the youngest of the students, and with 7 hour days for 2 weeks, I was both nervous and excited for her. I knew she would learn a lot and have fun with the music, dancing and acting. Then I hoped that she would make friends and enjoy the camp socially, too. That’s when I discovered the magic of PAA’s “Family Groups”.
From the first day of camp, students are assigned to Family Groups with 4-8 students in each. The groups have a wide range of ages. So even though my daughter was in Aladdin with 2nd through 6th graders, her Family Group included middle and high school students who were in Hairspray. With 100 students across both musicals, the Family Groups gave everyone a chance to get to know some people in a smaller setting.
The magic of the Family Group showed itself to me when my daughter came home so excited to report that when she was eating lunch by herself, a high schooler from her Family Group asked to sit with her. They ate lunch and snack together daily from that point. Her new friend gave her Candy Kudos (another great PAA motivator) with sweet, upbeat, motivational notes, too. It warmed my heart to know that my daughter had found a friend. And I hope as my daughter continues in PAA she will know the importance of taking care of the people in her Family Group, too.