The Talented Theatre program at Amite and Sumner high schools has won its fifth national award.

The Talented Theatre program received the Aaron Stein Award from the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health at its national convention held the first weekend in March in New Orleans.

The award was given to the Talented Theatre movie project in recognition of using art to teach social behaviors.

Aaron Stein was a renowned therapist in New York whose wife was involved with the theater.

For 14 years, the Talented Theatre students at these schools have created movies that explore social problems facing high school students, Talented Theatre teacher Charley Vance said.

The Talented Theatre students have created the ideas and stories for 42 movies, each movie running between 20 and 30 minutes. This year’s movies concerned the destructive power of rumors, prescription drug abuse and which gender has it tougher in high school, Vance said.

Members of the Sumner High Talented Theatre class are Kirstie Newman, Maranda Beadle, Mariha Beadle, Jacob Moore, Austin McDaniels, Scotti Dykes, Maggie Applewhite, Cara Brooke Graham, Marla Sheridan, Alex Williams, Alexis Biandolillo, Katherine Davis, Preston Womack and Carlee Applewhite.

Members of the Amite High Talented Theatre class are Arreyon McGee, Kherra Brown and Carl Briggs.

This year’s movies are posted at