What We Stand For
Our Growing Young Artists (GYA) program interrupts students’ “at-risk trajectory” through creative educational experiences. The program augments core skills in literacy and language fluency, math and science. Just as important, it builds crucial social and emotional skills including problem-solving, collaboration, empathy, self-direction, and responsibility.
Focusing on student assets
This summer we worked with pre-K through 8th grade migrant students and, for the first time, Title 1 students attending Fennville School.
Many schools in our West Michigan region run summer school programs for migrant children. These young people travel with their parents and are considered “at risk”, typically moving from school to school, state to state throughout the year as their parents travel for seasonal agricultural work.
This is where Growing Young Artists comes in for migrant and other at-risk students. Through daily writing exercises, yoga and mindfulness, field trips to area museums and galleries, and lots of drawing and painting the GYA Artist in Residence and our teaching team helps students think about the roles they play in their families and communities and how they can use their voices positively, even having a lasting impact in their community.
Like rings on a target
Impacting students, teachers, schools
Students are at the heart of the Growing Young Artists model. Art is a great vehicle for teaching science and math, and for supplementing reading, writing and speaking skills in students of all ages.
But in addition, we want them to finish GYA knowing that their stories, opinions
It gives educators skills they can use in their classroom throughout the year, long after Growing Young Artists is over. And provides a rare opportunity for teachers to collaborate with a working artist and other teachers.
It builds relationships and long-term learning strategies that impact entire school populations.
During Growing Young Artists, our project-based learning model brings together a working artist and a team of professionals which includes high school interns, college students
Growing Young Artists ultimately ripples out to the broader community, connecting students, their families, teachers and community members. It builds connections and provides opportunities for children and adults to work together.
A Message From
Our Education Manager
The goal of our GYA program is to use the arts as a strategy and vehicle to educate and empower youth. Collaboratively as a team, we implement creative and expressive arts curriculum and programming.
What Professionals Are Saying
“Growing Young Artists provides an opportunity to build kids up. These kids haven’t been built up much. Their art and the relationships they are forming gives them an opportunity to find self confidence and be affirmed in their abilities.”
“Creating art and using real literacy skills to support the creation of that art is authentic, formative, powerful education.
“GYA kept me in a role of teaching and gaining experience that has prepared me for the workforce.”