Kalamazoo Youth Development Network

KYD Network’s Community Learning Hubs are located at various sites around the city of Kalamazoo, supporting K-12 students in person with their virtual learning. The purpose of the art therapy in the Hubs is to educate youth on SEL (Social Emotional Learning) skills through an art lens.

Art therapy is a healing technique that involves making art through creative expression. It is about letting go and creating something; you do not need to be an “artist” to do these activities and with an art therapy outlook, everyone is an artist. The art therapy sessions are an hour long and consist of an inclusion activity in the beginning, an in-depth look at one of the eight SEL skills and how to apply it to the art technique we are doing that day, the art technique itself, and then a small reflection to sum up how the youth felt the session went.

Since we are living in a pandemic, our young visitors have been adjusting to the new normal, which involves wearing masks and social distancing. Despite the pandemic, the youth at the learning hubs are always enthusiastic and thoughtful when it comes to making art. Over the course of time that we’ve been doing art therapy at the learning hubs, the youth have created some really amazing pieces of art that they are able to share with their friends, peers and family members!

For more information, visit www.kydnet.org