Bethesda Leadership Center
In response to an urgent need in Erie for a safe place where teens to grow and learn, Bethesda Children’s Home established the Center for Musical Expression and Leadership, with programs specifically designed for adolescents. The new Center, located just one block west of Bethesda Trinity Center at 349 West 18th Street, takes a holistic approach to youth development by providing recreational, educational, therapeutic, and preventive programming while promoting optimal physical, mental and social health. The Center for Musical Expression and Leadership will provide both center-based and family support activities and services, that may be offered through our partnerships with many local social, educational, and health related organizations.The focus at the Center for Musical Expression and Leadership will be to provide a neighborhood nucleus where youth and their families can learn to effectively manage stress and have fun in conjunction with being exposed to non-traditional types of programs. All activities will be guided toward the goal of supporting the continued growth of all of the participants, through the introduction of alternative or specifically focused activities that are not offered anywhere else in the area.
The Center coordinates the delivery of services with partnering agencies, and provides family development services to help program participant utilize a multitude of community resources to meet their goals. The staff will coordinate and implement an individualized service plan for each program participant and their family and document service delivery.
Programs and services include:
Adolescent Health Rhythms (evidence-based group drumming) – This new evidenced-based group drumming program was developed through research conducted at Bethesda Children’s Home in Meadville in conjunction with Remo, Inc. of California. The program will provide opportunities for those who participate to disclose their feelings and emotions in a safe, guarded, and fun environment while teaching kids how to cope with their emotions in a more productive and healthy way. Drumming groups will be held at the new center throughout the year.
Recording Studio – The recording studio at the Center for Musical Expression and Leadership was designed to provide kids an opportunity to express themselves through the use of recorded musical expression. Through a joint partnership with the Yamaha Institute, the Center will allow students to earn the privilege of studio time through volunteering their time, demonstrating continuous positive behaviors, and academic performance.
Instrument Lessons – The recording studio includes 3 private lesson rooms were students will have the opportunity to learn various instruments such as drums, piano, guitar and others.
Music Making – Through a “hands on approach,” students will be given the opportunity to learn the workings of a real recording studio including instruction on how to develop their song writing skills.
Dance – Various forms of dance will be offered at the Center for Musical Expression and Leadership including hip-hop, jazz, and Salsa.
Recreational and preventive programming – FitRhythms™ is a revolutionary new fitness program created by Paulo Mattioli that combines live drumming and dance into an exciting, uplifting and effective work out! It is a non-competitive program that fosters community, creativity and mind/body wellness through the process of group music making and movement. FitRhythms™ is approved by the American Council on Exercise and proven effective through independent clinical research.
Arts and Creativity – The Center for Musical Expression and Leadership will feature an art gallery and studio that will allow program participants the opportunity to learn to create various types of works of art and display them in a public gallery on-site.
Kids Café – Through a private for-profit/non-profit partnership, the Center for Musical Expression will develop a Café that will offer youth the opportunity to learn various aspects of the restaurant industry while providing them with a skill for employment.
Family-centered, community-based services to enhance individual and group functioning – Through Bethesda’s BHRS Services (BHRS) individual services for youth and families are available to help youth through life’s most difficult struggles.
Education Enhancement – The Center for Musical Expression and Leadership will offer after- school and evening educational programs that help adolescents with their day-to-day academic struggles. Services will include homework help and tutoring, SAT and ACT Prep, college and career exploratory programs. A computer lab with self guided academic tutorials will provide youth with the opportunity to learn at their own pace and be enhanced by volunteer individual on-site tutors.
Leadership and Mentoring – The establishment of a supportive adult or peer relationship through mentoring is critical to the ability of youth to link to the world of work or to education and training, and to engage in other productive activities that help them grow. Research shows that mentoring can increase an individual’s chance of having a productive and satisfying life. The ability of youth to have these positive experiences, however, depends a great deal on having access to caring adults that are ready, willing, and able to be involved. Unfortunately, while vulnerable youth, older adolescents, and young adults are in the greatest need of caring adults, they are the least likely to have access to them. The Center for Musical Expression and Leadership will incorporate mentoring relationships into all aspects of its programs.