American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) Biennial Meeting
The American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) Biennial Meeting was August 17-20 in sweltering 95o, 95% humidity Sarasota, FL with no air conditioning, but the 300 kids from all over the US who worked their butts off from dawn to dusk were not deterred in the least by the heat and humidity. They were having the time of their lives.
BDL Conference Organizer, Adele Diamond, went to AYCO Meeting to learn about Youth Circus.
Circus Harmony of St. Louis, Missouri, says that youth circus “teaches the art of life through circus education. We work to build character and expand community for youth of all ages, cultures, abilities and backgrounds. Through teaching and performance of circus skills, we help people defy gravity, soar with confidence and leap over social barriers, all at the same time.”
Amazing Grace Circus of Nyack, NY says youth circus is about building “Confidence. Imagination. Respect. Cooperation. Understanding. & Success” (CIRCUS).
“Their mission is to offer youth the opportunity to…develop positive relationships using circus arts as the common bridge of communication and cooperation among diverse communities…To give teens the opportunity to build their self-esteem, learn how to cooperate, support and challenge each other to excel, and learn how to promote the use of their imaginations.”
If addressing all parts of the child is critical for children to excel in school and in life, then might programs like youth circus be important for academic success?