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Research Article  |   September 2001
The New Stories/New Cultures After-School Enrichment Program: A Direct Cultural Intervention
Author Affiliations
  • Gelya Frank, PhD, is Professor and Director, New Stories/New Cultures, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, 1540 Alcazar, CHP-133, Los Angeles, California 90033-1091; gfrank@hsc.usc.edu
  • Merle Fishman, MA, OTR, is On-Site Director, New Stories/New Cultures, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Catherine Crowley, MA, OTR, is Doctoral Student, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Brent Blair, MA, is Instructor and Theatre Applications Coordinator, School of Theatre, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Sheila T. Murphy, PhD, is Professor, Annenberg School of Communication and Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Jorge A. Montoya, PhD, is Doctoral Student, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Michael P. Hickey, MA, is Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Mary V. Brancaccio, is Masters Student, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Estela Mara Bensimon, EdD, is Professor and Director, Center for Urban Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Community Programming
Research Article   |   September 2001
The New Stories/New Cultures After-School Enrichment Program: A Direct Cultural Intervention
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2001, Vol. 55, 501-508. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.5.501
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2001, Vol. 55, 501-508. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.5.501
Abstract

This article describes the organization, curriculum, and outcomes for New Stories/New Cultures, an activity-based program for after-school enrichment in five schools in the low-income neighborhood near a major American university. The program encourages students (70% Hispanic-American, 30% African-American) to experience themselves as producers of culture, not just as consumers. Its methods include (a) creative team use of video equipment and other expressive media and (b) lessons about media literacy (i.e., making critical choices about images and activities depicted in popular culture and commercials). Outcome measures with the cohort of fifth and sixth graders support the program’s occupation-based philosophy. They show that students are more likely to experience themselves as building skills when engaged in activities that are both challenging and enjoyable. The students reported greatest engagement and enjoyment in activities that were creative, team-based, and involving media production. These same activities were correlated with increased self-esteem. The term direct cultural intervention is used to describe the application of occupational principles and critical perspectives to provide a population with conceptual tools and skills for interpreting and successfully navigating the social world.