smARTkids Art Program brings the inspiration of art to 80 elementary and middle school students who are struggling in school. In small, weekly after-school classes, these students build their confidence by experiencing success in creating art. In turn, the students improve their achievement in school. smARTkids is offered at no cost to the school or families and is often the only after school enrichment option available to them. Most smARTkids students are from low-income, minority families.
Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools have significant populations of low-income and minority students. These students face disadvantages in educational opportunities due to lack of literacy, access to information technology and homework assistance. Many do not have the opportunity to participate in enrichment classes and spend numerous unsupervised hours after-school. Regrettably, these same children often fall under the influence of older teens and gang violence.
The smARTkids program brings a high quality after school program to students in need of additional support for their study habits, language acquisition, and social skills. smARTkids is offered at no cost and provides the families much needed after school care and enrichment opportunities for their children. By helping students succeed academically while building positive relationships with their peers, smARTkids helps them become productive community members.
Giving 80 at-risk students a chance to succeed in a less-stressful environment with more individual attention decreases their likelihood to drop out of school. They are better prepared to enter the workforce, or move on to higher education and less likely to become involved with drugs and gang violence.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).