Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo – Participating Arts Program
Programs that are free of judgment and encourage self exploration allow children to participate unreservedly and to learn from their experiences. It is this type of environment for which our programs strive. Through full implementation of the Boys and Girls Clubs’ Youth Development Strategy, an environment is created which helps girls and boys enhance their self-esteem and achieve their full potential. The Youth Development Strategy strives to instill a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence through programs and activities offered at the Club. The Participating Arts Program allows Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo to provide a safe environment for youth to explore and engage in the arts. From choir performances to art exhibits to variety shows to photography to dance recitals, members have been exposed to a myriad of cultural experiences that may not have been possible without the presence of this program. The Clubs’ target population benefits greatly from this opportunity to expand their horizons and build their sense of creativity. Ultimately, a well-rounded education is one that includes the Arts which in turn supports a child’s entire development, including improving their propensity to learn math and science. The Participating Arts Program offers students the opportunity to learn new art forms and the skills involved. It also teaches the importance of participation and practice. Not only does the program offer training for developing new skill sets, it offers an outlet for expression. Many of our youth have very little voice in their homes, their schools, and their communities. Some have been written off by society because of their race or economic status. Their unheard voices have left them with feelings of frustration and anger, and without a positive outlet, they will often act upon those feelings in unhealthy, destructive behaviors. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo ensure that our members have an outlet to express themselves.