Huffman Academy

May 19, 2023 by Anita Reid

School of Distinction Award


Birmingham City Schools

Principal, Dr. Jeffrey Willis

Superintendent, Dr. Mark Sullivan

The Dramacats program at Huffman Academy was created to introduce scholars to the art of performance and to provide students with a different type of extracurricular activity. Through the program, students learned the use and meanings of theater performance vocabulary, as well as the skills of improvisation, connecting themselves to the text, embodying a character, voice projection, emoting with the body and the voice, and much more. The impact of the Dramacats program greatly exceeded its initial purposes. Students who were normally reserved and quiet found confidence and started to become more outgoing with peers and teachers. Students who entered the troupe as struggling readers ended the year with improved reading fluency and comprehension skills as seen in their regular classroom performance and participation, as well as end of the year testing scores. The boost in self-awareness and self-confidence branched into all facets of school life for the scholars as many teachers noted seeing students assisting peers, engaging in more activities, and applying themselves in more areas of the classroom. At the end of the year, Dramacats scholars partnered with the school's cheerleaders, music students, and art classes to host a one-night only performance for parents and community members to celebrate the entire school's artistic endeavors.