INTERRUPTING THE AT-RISK TRAJECTORY
Focusing on student assets
For the past ten years we have offered creative outreach programming to pre-K – 8th grade migrant students and Title 1 students attending Fennville Public Schools’ summer school programs. We recently added a collaboration with Outdoor Discovery Center to design impactful integrated learning experiences that incorporates nature-based art education.
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.
These children also struggle with health issues, having a proportionally higher percentage of childhood obesity as compared to the rest of the population. And the average level of completed education for a Migrant Farm Worker is 8th grade, with 49.6% of students never reaching high school.
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 intheir community.
LIKE RINGS ON A TARGET
Impacting students, teachers, schools and community
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 and perspectives matter. This program is as much about relationships and life experiences as art-making. We continually ask students how they can use their creativity to help others because we believe that art and creativity have the power to break down all kinds of barriers and truly impact lives.