More than 50 youth from Baja California Sur and the United States participated in Colorado State University’s Kids Do It All (KDIA) music-theatre camp in 2018, as the program celebrated its fifth year at the Todos Santos Center.
As the program has grown, Kids Do It All has responded to the needs of the community and this year invited local teachers to serve as counselors for the program. The program organizers —Walt Jones, founder and lead faculty member of Kids Do It All, and Gabriela Ocádiz, artistic director of KDIA Todos Santos and a CSU alumna from Mexico City — noted that the program marked a special year, for more reasons than its milestone anniversary.
“This year’s learning was openly recognizing that we do not need words to communicate,” Ocádiz said. “That a touch, a gesture, a look or a smile are stronger in getting together for a common goal.”
Five CSU students attended as camp counselors and walked children through creating a play from scratch, including everything from writing a script to creating the décor and props needed for the final performance.
“As a team of counselors, Walt and myself were able to reflect and see that in communicating with others through theatre, arts, dance, and music, we are not performing, but we are being in the world with others, which is huge lifelong learning,” Ocádiz said.
A first this year, Jones and Ocádiz implemented opportunities for local educators to engage with students during the program. They determined this was a key addition to the program, and plan to provide a train-the-trainer setup in 2019, offering teachers instruction to continue KDIA programming within standard curriculum.
While the experience was built for children, the cultural exchange went beyond youth – it also occurred among the counselors from the United States and the counselors from Mexico, Ocádiz said.
“We are more aware of our social responsibilities in the world as actresses, directors, musicians, and artists, and the impact we made through this kind of awareness may have been as deeply meaningful for Todos Santos’ community as it was for us.”
The CSU team created an art installation for the CSU Todos Santos Center commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Kids Do It All program, which includes the names and handprints of the entire student and adult team.
The final performance was a community event at the CSU Todos Santos Center Barn, with more than 100 community and family members attending to support the local students.
“The last five years has produced five uninterrupted years of the bicultural, bilingual camp, and this year was the most fun, the most rewarding, and the most skillful in our history,” Jones said. “We have made an undeniable impact on the Todos Santos community and it has made an undeniable impact on us!”
From all of the kids and CSU counselors… thank you for your ongoing support of this important and impactful program!
About the Colorado State University Todos Santos Center
Located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, CSU Todos Santos Center is the University’s only international location, providing research and educational opportunities in alignment with existing University curricula.
Advancing CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service, and outreach, the Center collaborates with Mexican universities and organizations, and provides workshops and programs for visitors and local residents.
CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to partner in the creation of thriving communities through experiential learning and the exchange of knowledge.
For additional information, visit todossantos.colostate.edu.