In its fourteenth year, Growing Theater has a proven track record of successful partnerships. The elementary school students gain confidence in collaboration, taking artistic risks, thinking outside of the expected paradigm, and in performing in front of an audience. Many university student mentors have gone on to careers in teaching or to become deeply involved in outreach endeavors after graduating. Approximately 250 university students and 350 elementary and middle school students have participated in the program during its history.As Growing Theater Mentors, Carnegie Mellon students earn university credit by sharing their theater skills with at-risk elementary school children from Propel Charter School East by guiding the children through the development of the production of a play. A workbook has been created to support the parallel educational goals of Growing Theater and Propel Charter School-East. During weekly meetings, with the guidance of the CMU Mentors, the Propel students write their own short plays based on aspects of their lives. Elements of good storytelling, including structure and character development take center stage in this portion of the program. The young students also learn about performance, creation of theatrical environments and effective communication to an audience. The nine month process culminates with dress rehearsals and performances in CMU's Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theatre for the children's parents, teachers and members of the Carnegie Mellon Community. A yearly alumni sponsored award is given to a CMU student to honor an extraordinary contribution to the program sponsored by program alumni and Carnegie Mellon’s Gelfand Center for University Outreach.