Educators from many backgrounds came together to learn and grow. Professional teachers, student teachers, high school interns, art instructors
“You will grow more than you ever thought possible and see your strengths and weaknesses shine while you work alongside some incredible people.” – Avery Burke,
second yearGYA instructor, West Ottawa 1st grade ELA
More than 100 hours of brainstorming, lesson planning
“The time I spent with the students was rewarding and special. It went by so fast but I felt like the relationships built were life changing. The experience has given me more confidence as a solo instructor and as a team player.”- Sam Lee GYA instructor
Mandy Cano Villa Lobos, the 2019 artist in residence, was an amazing addition to the team. Bringing in a professional working artist the students can relate to on a deeper level, allows them to visualize a future for themselves, with endless possibilities for success.
“I loved seeing her come each day to GYA with new ideas and an enthusiasm for making and creating. She was able to instill her enthusiasm and love for art in students around her, and it was clear that many students looked up to her, as a role model.” – Emily Lindbloom GYA instructor
The instructors created positive change in the community by mentoring students throughout the summer. Smaller class sizes allowed them to connect with each student in a meaningful way.
“The relationship that your staff builds with our students will last a lifetime. As a teacher I cherish the GYA program.” – Mrs. Onken Fennville Public Schools teacher
In the past 8 years, GYA has involved more than 900 students, upwards of 50 instructors and 8 artists. Traditionally each summer ends with a community celebration honoring the artwork created in the program. Students who are rarely praised, often in trouble or grade levels behind are positively recognized for their achievements. This year’s fiesta placed the student’s art on display in the center of downtown
The Growing Young Artist classroom gives children
“They gained advocates who love seeing them grow and who will challenge them not only in the basic subjects of school but in adding meaning to everything they do.”
– Avery Burke GYA instructor
One student, Maria, had never painted before coming to GYA. Her teacher, Rachael Miller, noticed she was only painting in blue, yellow, and red, while the other students where mixing many new shades. “I sat by her and showed her how to mix orange and purple and her eyes got so wide. It blew her mind. Being able to work one on one with her was amazing.”
“Your program lets me see a side of the kids that I do not get to see during a regular school setting. It allows them to open up and show their true selves, it allows them to do and see things they may not have the opportunity to do.” – Mrs. Torres Fennville Public Schools
As this year’s class of GYA comes to a close, time spent in the classroom will have a lasting impact on all those involved.
“From providing snack to taking us to the play that was the most fun I have ever had…I hope to experience this again next year.” – Daisy Castillo GYA student