The Reengagement Program is Re:LIFE’s Premier endeavor. It is designed to have an entrepreneurial focus, which will come alongside educational, career and leadership preparations in the five different areas of concentration. The Reengagement program spans an intensive 12- 24 month timeline. This time frame is broken down into a Mandatory Intensive 12-month training session, and Voluntary Extensive job placement/ fiscal responsibility session.” – http://www.relifeinc.org/reengagement.html
The Re:LIFE Reengagement Program for disconnected male youth incorporates five concentration areas with each student being assigned to his preferred area of concentration—ArtLIFE, FitLIFE, ServeLIFE, TechLIFE and BizLIFE. Although Re:LIFE Inc is an entrepreneurship-centered program, it acknowledges the necessities of training in other areas, especially as desired by the participant. Those in the Arts, for example, plan and execute a showcase of talents of which potential talent scouts will select candidates they hope to sponsor. Hence, the showcase serves as an audition for the candidates.
Some people do not readily see art as a focus from which one can pursue a career or learn valuable life skills. Unfortunately, some schools which are facing budgets cuts accommodate these changes by decreasing the number of art programs. Yet, the benefits of training and education in the arts can be found in all aspects of life and as such, art education should be preserved.
The arts are an important part of every youth’s education. Similar to English, Math, Science and other core subjects, the Arts also contains challenging subject areas that contain rigorous content and standards of achievement. Making art or simply experiencing it will help youth grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally. It can also be extremely beneficial for economically disadvantaged youth and those who are at risk of not succeeding in school. As stated by Eric Cooper, president of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, “Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences”. Research studies depict a strong correlation between learning in the arts and acquiring the fundamental cognitive skills and capacities used to master other core subjects.
Obviously art education develops creativity within youth. Let’s examine how it builds other aspects of the personality:
Critical Thinking and Communication Skills: Youth who study art are made to interpret and draw conclusions from the material. This fosters critical thinking by encouraging them to think outside the box and expand their mind. They learn to question things by participating in the arts. They also learn to problem solve and convey their thoughts and ideas effectively. Studies have actually shown that exposing youth to art promotes brain activity.
Emotional Development: The practice of art builds self-esteem, discipline, and maturity. For example, “After drawing a sketch, if a child does not like the final outcome, he erases and re-draws certain portions. Thus, he learns “trial and error” through art and uses the same in real life situations.” It also improves observational skills because one learns to take notice of small details and this will allow youth to appreciate even the smallest things in life. Lastly, they are exposed to different ides of beauty and perceptions of the world and thus, they develop a mind more open to the experiences and people they might come across in the future.
Interpersonal Skills: Art allows youth to develop a better understanding of human nature. They learn to see the world from other people’s points of view and as a consequence they are more willing to respect the thoughts and feelings of others.
Not only are the points mentioned above important skills necessary for youth development, they are also attributes any employer would want in an employee. And if one is particularly gifted in a field of art, this can open the door to a lucrative profession in the arts, thus increasing youth innovation and employment.
The subdivisions of Re:LIFE’s ArtLIFE include music, theater, dance, creative writing, painting/mosaic, and interior/exterior design. Youth that choose to participate in this area of concentration undergo basic, intermediate, and advanced training in their particular field and are then allowed to showcase their developed skills and talents. Art is an indispensable subject that would benefit anybody, regardless of artistic inclination.Sources:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/importance-of-art-education.html by Betty Diop (Re:LIFE Writer/Columnist)
B.A. Applied Psychology Edited by Chike Ukaegbu
- Bringing Together Diverse Methods of Re-engagement: The HEROES Model Part II (relifeinc.wordpress.com)
- The case for arts & creative education in k-12 schools (compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com)
- Combating Delinquency: Introducing Positive Alternatives (relifeinc.wordpress.com)
- Pathways to Success: Immigrant Youth at High School Part II (relifeinc.wordpress.com)
- Bringing Together Diverse Methods of Re-engagement: The HEROES Model Part I (relifeinc.wordpress.com)
- Why The American Public School System Keeps Failing Our Youth (relifeinc.wordpress.com)
- Improving Youth Performance in School through Sports (relifeinc.wordpress.com)
- Teaching children about art (janestreetclayworks.com)
- Afterschool Advocates to Rally Capitol (prnewswire.com)
- Art is all around us! (artforelementaryteachers.com)
- “Now is the time to reinvest in arts education” Barack Obama (wgy-emc-forum.org)
- Let People Know, Arts Education Matters (ubersallya.wordpress.com)
- 2-4-6-8, Who Do We Appreciate! Dropouts! Dropouts! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay DROPOUTS! (reason.com)