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CAT is an educational outreach program at The City University of New York that uses the power of drama to inspire New York City youth to learn more. CAT has served more than one million youth since its founding in 1974. CAT programs apply drama principles, adapted to each classroom’s unique environment, to help students discover and foster their ability to learn.

CAT has a proven track record of success in strengthening three important life skills: literacy, critical thinking and social-emotional awareness. At the heart of CAT is a commitment to helping youth learn how to learn – a commitment that fuels our mission and unique method of interactive, issue-based drama. CAT is a community outreach program at The City University of New York and developed the CUNY M.A. in Applied Theatre – Interactive Drama for Learning and Change, which is offered by the CUNY School of Professional Studies in partnership with CAT and is the first program of its kind in the nation.


Increasingly, education theorists and practitioners, in addition to government policymakers, are recognizing the need for and value of innovative, sustained professional development opportunities for educators – as the three citations below persuasively demonstrate.

“As in all professions, new teachers and principals take years to gain the skills they need to be effective in their roles. The complexity of teaching is so great that one-third of teachers leave the profession within three years and 50% leave within five years (Ingersoll, 2003). Even experienced teachers confront great challenges each year, including changes in subject content, new instructional methods, advances in technology, changed laws and procedures, and student learning needs. Educators who do not experience effective professional development do not improve their skills, and student learning suffers.1”

1 2011-12 Final Report CAT - NYC DOE OECE – Interactive Storytelling Professional Development Page 4

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