On this journey we take as parents, we take many turns, and try all kinds of new routes hoping our kids will benefit from the experience. With a kid like Katie, we've turned more than most, and failed a lot. But the thing that brought out the best in her was always the stage. Still is. When Katie discovered Theatre, and performing on stage, she found a place where she could be different, and special, and where those things meant that she was also the same as everyone else.

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Starting with High School, Katie found her voice on stage, acting and singing with like-minded kids. The theatre is filled with supportive people, and she has happily played on many stages. We're lucky that there is a spirit of inclusion these days.

Maybe you have a kid trying to find their voice. There's a couple of mini theatre camps that will take place this summer at the Village Theatre in Davenport where your kid might do just that. It's called "Shine On" and it's a new idea that will introduce different aspects of performing to those interested, or maybe just thinking about it. They are the brainchild of UNI student Bethany Piotter, who began a similar inclusive dance company on that campus last year. There's one in June, and one in July. They are open to anyone between the ages of 6-12, and each participant will have a partner who will help them learn the different aspects of each session. These are inclusive sessions, where kids of different abilities will learn together, and then show what they've learned at the end of the session. Each takes only a couple of hours over one evening.

Shine On is also looking for a few more Volunteers to help introduce the art of performing to these enthusiasts. To help out, or to register your young would-be actor, go to the link below.

Sign up here!

Here is our interview with Bethany Piotter: