ACHF Arts Education
Twelve youth will successfully complete 24 sessions of mentorships as evidenced by completed web portfolios that showcases digital artwork completed through the activity. Additionally, 83% of those participating will show a significant increase (18% + improvement based on pre and post assessment) in technical skill, aesthetics and contextual presentation. Evaluation will include attendance tallies; pre and post skill assessment; portfolio assessment; informal observation; and exit interviews with participants and mentors.
A total of 20 youth participated in the Digital Journeys Program. The program began in September 2016 and came to completion on April 28th, 2017. Participants were selected from In Progress’s base of existing networks of youth involved in school and community based activities. Criteria for selection were based on 3 key elements: 1. A curiosity to learn from others; 2. Commitment to participation; 3. A history of producing in video, music, photography or writing. The original intention was to begin the program with a complete group of participants already identified. Because the program required a high level of commitment, one group of 14 were identified in September, with an additional 6 identified in October. This also ensured that the intended demographic outlined in the proposal could participate. Of the original group of 20 the following demographics were served: Ethnicity: 5% Native American, 5% Middle Eastern, 45% African American, 30% Hmong, 15% Mixed Heritage. Gender: 75% female, 25% male. Income: 90% living in poverty (22% of participants identified as homeless during project), 10% low income. Age: 100% under the age of 20. Once participants were identified – mentors began individualized communication channels with participants. For those that required transportation (40%), bus tokens and rides were provided. Participants were fed snacks and meals as needed. Because individualized learning plans were designed cooperatively with each participant, those with learning disabilities received stylized learning. There was no cost to participation and all out-of-pocket expenses were covered. A similar process will be used next year with this program, as it was proven to be highly successful. By adding past participants as peer mentors and collaborators, we will likely strengthen our ability to maintain engagement over the 8-month mentorship period. 87% of the students completed the project as evidenced through completed web portfolios. 100% demonstrated increased technical and artistic competency as determined by product assessment and pre-post testing. All participants presented publicly to audiences of over 200 and 75% indicated comfort in public presentation during exit interviews.
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