Students with Autism Bring the Jungle Jamboree to Life

Students on the autism spectrum often don’t get the same opportunities as their classmates when it comes to co-curricular activities.

Members of Niagara Catholic’s dedicated Student Support team set out to change that, providing eight young students the chance to perform in an original play.

The dedicated young actors and actresses have worked tirelessly for five weeks in preparation for their big premiere. The unique cast was involved in every aspect of the play, from costume and set design to musical components and character roles.

The original story is about celebrating differences and working with others to help us find our way. With an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) focus on individualized social skills goals enriched through the Arts, our performers have worked together to create an original musical production, brought to you on film: Jungle Jamboree.

Two animals, both new to the jungle, Gina the Giraffe and Simon the Snake, find themselves on a journey of strengths to guide their way to the Jungle Jamboree. Lost and alone, they find each other. Gina uses her height, while Simon feels the beats with his body. Together, they are able to conquer the ever-changing jungle climate.

Upon arrival, Gina and Simon are greeted with acceptance and welcomed home to the Jungle Jamboree, where they dance the night away.

On June 5, a red-carpet premiere was held at Saint Michael Catholic High School. The stars of the show walked the red carpet, posed for photos at a specially created Selfie Station, and then watched the 20-minute production, followed by outtakes and a short “making of Jungle Jamboree” presentation. Each student received a trophy for their participation, and then sang the main song from the play together.

There were plenty of damp eyes during the performance as the audience beamed with pride at what the youngsters accomplished and in gratitude for the experience they received.

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