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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

IU Bloomington: Prevention Insights to oversee evidence-based research for Claude McNeal Productions’ Lilly Endowment grant

Prevention Insights at the Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington will oversee the evidence-based research on a $250,000 grant Claude McNeal Productions has received from the Lilly Endowment Inc. The grant will support the work necessary for ACT Out!, a live social-issues theatre troupe, to become evidence-based in social/emotional learning.

The research will support the creation of curriculum around Act Out!’s core topics: bullying, diversity and inclusion, substance abuse, healthy relationships, social anxiety, and character development. It will also provide pilot testing of the revised program and a randomized, controlled trial in several Indianapolis-area schools.

Becoming an evidence-based program involves demonstrating meaningful outcomes from Act Out!, including improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The use of a rigorous scientific assessment of Act Out! will allow for an objective review of desired program outcomes. Dr. Jon Agley, Deputy Director of Research at Prevention Insights, adds, “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Claude McNeal Productions on this project. The work is not only of scientific interest, it is also meaningful to Hoosiers!”

Through this 19-month process, Act Out! expects to identify benefits of this approach to integrating social issues into theatre production and performance. The program, which specializes in social/emotional learning, will be the only one of its kind in Indiana to have undergone this intensive process. Using findings from the research, Act Out! will be prepared to seek national accreditation as an evidence-based program and expand its reach in Indiana, across the Midwest, and around the nation.

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