GYV Staff/ Participant during: 2006
Education: High School Junior at the Atlanta Girls’ School
Occupation: Founder and Artistic Producer of the Children’s Bilingual Theater
Most Interesting Country Visited: Ecuador
Favorite GYV Memory: preforming with sock puppets for Cabin Idol
Biography: Jordan Schwartz began in theatre in 2nd grade. When her school offered Spanish in the after-school program she had an idea to put theatre and language together.
At 10 in 2003, she founded The Children’s Bilingual Theater and premiered a show in 2004. Jordan started with raising $3,000 in donations and getting schools to host the shows, then 17 kids 2nd grade to college age staged a bilingual play at 4 schools in Cobb County. The Children’s Bilingual Theater not only brought students together, but brought community volunteers to help them make the show a reality. Jordan’s project helps the Spanish first language speakers to improve their English and Spanish second language speakers to improve their Spanish and all benefit from theatre, learn about public speaking and work with a diverse group while exploring Hispanic language, culture and history.
CBT has staged 3 musicals and cast and crew volunteer as literacy advocates with Sheltering Arms, Park Street School and HeadStart programs in Metro Atlanta. CBT has worked with over 100 volunteers, performing to over 3000 audience members and many school audiences. Jordan won a $10,000 DoSomething award for production costs and received over $20,000 in production grants and scholarships to help sustain the theatre company. In 2007 “Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans” a salsa hip-hop bilingual musical was filmed by a Wisconsin Public Television crew for a segment in “Democracy it is!”, an educational documentary series reaching school audiences all over Wisconsin.
In 2008 in an unprecedented move in selecting a 14 year old, the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Organizing Institute chose Jordan as one of six participants to be trained in organizing skills to return to her community to promote systems change around issues that affect people with disabilities. Jordan wrote a bilingual play. “Mr. Ooba’s T.E.A.M.” addresses the issue of bullying of developmentally disabled and medically fragile children and diversity in our classrooms. Jordan’s work with The Children’s Bilingual Theater is an effort to encourage her community to bridge the language and cultural gap through theatre arts and to exemplify and teach tolerance.