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Cleveland UMADAOP uses two approaches as its primary youth prevention strategies, Cultural-based and Performance-Arts based programming.   Program designs are a blend of evidenced-based research and traditional wisdoms of the African American culture (e.g., “mother wit”, “Nguzo Saba”, “Black and Proud, Say it Loud” etc.)


Culture has been defined as the “complex ensemble of emotions, beliefs, values, aspirations . . . that together make up behavior” (Fabrega, 1992:561). Culture is transmitted through language and is constantly changing. It includes the stories, songs, art, and literature of a people. In essence, it is the framework in which childhood socialization takes place (Beauvais, 1992). Research shows that strong cultural identification makes adolescents less vulnerable to risk factors for drug use and more able to benefit from protective factors than adolescents who lack this identification (Zickler, 1999). The studies Zickler refers to were conducted with Puerto Rican, African American, and Asian populations, however risk and protective factors among youth appear to be universal regardless of ethnicity or gender (Fisher, Storck, and Bacon, 1999).


 According to several experts performance arts as prevention strategy is a very beneficial approach.  Arts- integrated school curricula supposedly improve academic performance and student discipline (Fiske 1999; Remer 1990). The arts revitalize neighborhoods and promote economic prosperity (Costello 1998; SCDCAC 2001; Stanziola 1999; Walesh 2001). Participation in the arts improves physical and psychological well-being (Baklien 2000; Ball and Keating 2002; Bygren, Konlaan and Johansson 1996; Turner and Senior 2000). The arts provide a catalyst for the creation of social capital and the attainment of important community goals (Goss 2000; Matarasso 1997; Williams 1995). 


Further support to the UMADAOP prevention strategy is the cross-site evaluation of CSAP’s overall substance abuse prevention programs identified several elements common to successful programs (Sanchez-Way, 2000). Effective programs employ a variety of approaches and interventions in a variety of settings. A common element of successful programs is that they foster caring, supportive relationships with one or more adults. Successful programs create opportunities for youth to develop feelings of self-efficacy and competence.



The primary objective of the music program strategy is to assist youth in becoming proficient in the necessary basic skills to perform various styles of music. In addition, the music programs provide basic music instruction which emphasizes the development of aural skills, creativity, and the gradual introduction of basic visual symbols used in contemporary music. Youth are provided opportunity to develop skills on both melodic and percussion instruments.  Participants also are provided the theory of music that is necessary for effective playing and performance. The level of music theory limited due to resources. Youth receives an initial audition to determine their level of musicianship. Instruction is provided in basic instrumentation typically used in public school bands. Instruction is provided by two certified public school teachers on contract, and an African American Djembe Drum instructor.


The primary objective of the poetry program strategy is to assist you in becoming proficient in basic skills of language arts.  Learning activities are designed to assist members in honing their communication skills by refining self-expression abilities and developing strong presentation skills. The Spoken Word has a significant place in the African American culture. Spoken Word is an art form of oral renditions which have been used by the culture to remember, celebrate and protest. Instruction is provided by



Cleveland UMADAOP uses curriculums approved by SAMHSA and its National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), as well as other curriculums that are classified as promising.

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Youth Services
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