The year was 1997. Leah Arington was still in college when her mother invited her back to the Elkhorn Valley Community Theatre in Waterloo, Nebraska to direct a summer program for children.
The program morphed into "Theatre Arts For Kids" and after running the program in San Francisco and Tallahassee, Florida, Leah moved the program to Lincoln in 2011.
Leah knows that her program can make a difference in a child's life, "I think it benefits everyone who walks in the door and it's never for one particular reason."
This 1995 graduate of Elkhorn High School possesses a wealth of performance experience, "I've lived all over New York, Florida and Manchester, England is where I went to grad school."
In Leah's program kids learn how to sing, dance and act, "I pride myself on making sure that each child is successful in the program regardless of their age or expertise. All of a sudden, their school experience is better because they feel that they have a family of friends elsewhere."
Discipline is an important element for Leah, "Putting them in an environment where they are not given the opportunity for shenanigans, they're bound to succeed."
Leah was recently given the chance to return to college teaching...but, "There's this interesting, 'We're all meant to be here in this situation together' feeling. It's always awesome see what they're getting from the program or when a parent comes to me and says, 'This has changed my child's life', those are always really nice things to hear."
"Theatre Arts For Kids offers a variety of programs and some of them are free. Others are tuition based. But, Leah says there are scholarships available and she's happy to make it work for any child that's interested.