A.C.O.R.N Theatre Camp promotes and fosters Artistry, Communication, Opportunity, Resourcefulness and Nurtures, pride, self-esteem, and independence for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing middle school-and high school-aged students using theatre craft in a an outdoor retreat-style environment.

Executive Summary

The importance of promoting self-awareness, literacy, motivation, and independence, problem solving was the highlight, at the camp as the Deaf and hard of hearing students. The participants learn how to overcome roadblocks that obstruct the paths that they would like to follow in life. By enhancing their self-esteem through the use of theatre crafts, the students will be able to accept bigger challenges that they will be faced within their daily lives. The summer theatre program is for the throughout the U.S. It is essential that Deaf children be given the artistic opportunity to take pride in themselves, and present themselves to the hearing world in a competent, confident way.

Currently there are only a handful of theatre programs that address these needs, and they have very limited enrollment. Most of the programs do not allow other students from different states to enroll due to limitations from school districts. Most academic programs for the deaf and hard of hearing focus on language development and suitor rehabilitation and give little or no attention tothe arts.

Camille Jeter-Lorello and Frank Dattolo, founded A.C.O.R.N Deaf Theatre. Prior to that year, there were no outdoor retreat camps that focused solely on theatre training for the Deaf and hard of hearing children. It was important to provide a once in a lifetime opportunity where they can relate to other hearing theatre enthusiasts. A.C.O.R.N Theatre Camp gathered Deaf and signing instructors where the students eventually be able to communicate and express directly rather than going through the third party which is a sign language interpreter. For the past five years, A.C.O.R.N Theatre Camp eventually made this a true to life experience for these specific children.

At the beginning, we thought the A.C.O.R.N Theatre Camp would like to run for five weeks for 20 to 25 middle school and high school Deaf and hard of hearing students in a an outdoor retreat-style environment. However, due to budget cuts, we narrowed down the program to a one – two week camp. We are currently and actively seeking collaboration with several Deaf and hearing camp facilities. The original plan was to locate the camp for one summer in the Northeastern region of the US, and move to Southeastern region, and so forth, eventually covering the entire US. We ended up hosting in Michigan under the direction of the Holley Institute in Brooklyn, Michigan for the last five summers.The last two summers we have collaborated and worked with the Camp Mark 7 (CM7) in Old Forge, New York a week after Michigan camp.

Since then, A.C.O.R.N Theatre Camp, has created an environment of challenging and engaging opportunities for the Deaf and hard of hearing youth. This was a unique program, which will free of the demand of the regular school day, and will give students a wonderful immersion experience not possible during the school year. The camp provides the most comprehensive arts instructional facility of its kind in the country for deaf and hard of hearing youth. Eventually, we will create a significantly large number of future well-trained deaf and hard of hearing artists. With the support of the current and future donors, their support will create future diversity seeds for tomorrow’s world.