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Monday, September 5, 2011

Circus clown trains Ohio troubled teens


In this Aug. 2, 2011 photo, Paul Miller of Circus MOJO juggles rings with a student on the Gym Wheel at Hillcrest School in Wyoming, Ohio. Miller's Cincinnati-based circus arts program teaches students how to juggle, walk on stilts, balance on a giant ball and some tumbling in addition to the real objectives — team building and boosting self-esteem. Photo: The Enquirer, Joseph Fuqua II / AP

KIMBALL PERRY, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sunday, September 4, 2011 CINCINNATI

(AP) — Paul Miller's hands were a blur — toss, catch, toss, catch - keeping three colored balls in the air as eight teens watched, wondering what juggling had to do with their stay at Hamilton County's school for juvenile criminals.
"We're trying to show them there are things out there besides the streets," said Juvenile Court Judge Karla Grady.
Miller, owner of Circus Mojo, has completed two programs at Hillcrest Training School. The Springfield Township correctional and treatment school is for delinquent males ages 12-18 and too often the last stop before juvenile prison.


His Cincinnati-based circus arts program teaches students how to juggle, walk on stilts, balance on a giant ball and some tumbling in addition to the real objectives — team building and boosting self-esteem.
"It teaches them responsibility, teamwork, respect and commitment. All of that influences their academics and influences their home life," said Debbie Hill, of the nonprofit Community Arts Initiatives, the agency that paid for the $6,000, six-week program at Hillcrest.




In this Aug. 2, 2011 photo, Paul Miller of Circus MOJO works with a student on the Gym Wheel at Hillcrest School in Wyoming, Ohio. Miller's Cincinnati-based circus arts program teaches students how to juggle, walk on stilts, balance on a giant ball and some tumbling in addition to the real objectives — team building and boosting self-esteem. Photo: The Enquirer, Joseph Fuqua II / AP

His Cincinnati-based circus arts program teaches students how to juggle, walk on stilts, balance on a giant ball and some tumbling in addition to the real objectives — team building and boosting self-esteem.
"It teaches them responsibility, teamwork, respect and commitment. All of that influences their academics and influences their home life," said Debbie Hill, of the nonprofit Community Arts Initiatives, the agency that paid for the $6,000, six-week program at Hillcrest.
It's an unusual step, Grady admits, to have a clown teach troubled teens circus skills, but she wanted to get their attention. Many of them have committed serious crimes, some involving guns.
"Our kids are different — street-savvy kids," the judge said.
Eight Hillcrest students volunteered for the program, the second time the school has held it. They met twice weekly for six weeks, building up to a performance before about 80 people, including fellow students, some parents and school staff.READ MORE AT:
http://www.chron.com/news/article/Circus-clown-trains-Ohio-troubled-teens-2155301.php#photo-2


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