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How the Arts Can Enhance After-School Programs 

U.S. Department of Education & National Endowment for the Arts 

Cover Photograph: 

Students from Sigel Elementary School's 21st Century Community Learning Center 
engage in linoleum block printing at Taproots School of the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Notice: This document contains examples, contact information and Web sites for information created and 
maintained by other public and private organizations. This information is provided for the reader's conven- 
ience. The U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts do not control or guar- 
antee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclu- 
sion of information, addresses or Web sites for particular items does not reflect their importance, nor is it 
intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered. 

The text ot this report is in the public domain. Feel free to photocopy or reprint. 

To request copies of this report, contact the National Endowment for the Arts; 1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, 
NW; Washington, DC 20506-0001; 202-682-5400. 

How the Arts Can Enhance After-School Programs 

U.S. Department of Education & National Endowment for the Arts 

For more information on after-school programs contact us at: 

U.S. Department ot Education 

Partnership tor Family Involvement in Education 

400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. 

Washington, DC 20202-8173 


Telephone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) 

FIRS: 1-800-877-8339, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., ET, M-F 

National Endowment tor the Arts 
Nancy Hanks Center 
1 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20506-0001 
Telephone: 202-682-5400 
Web site: 

Kathleen Pierson, an international Art 
Car designer, designed an Art Car tor 
the Art Attack'. 21st Century Community 
Learning Center program at Blounstown 
Middle School in Blountstown, Florida. 
The children helped to piece together 
the car, which has an anti-smoking 
theme. Children also had a chance to 
design their own toy Art Cars, as shown 


The concept for this report was formulated by Adriana de Kanter and Andy Finch of the 
U.S. Department of Education and Lee Kessler of the National Endowment for the Arts. 
Additional editing and advice came from Scott Shanklin-Peterson, Robbie McEwen and 
Patrice Walker Powell at the National Endowment for the Arts and from Terry Peterson 
and Menahem Herman at the U.S. Department of Education. The staff of the 21st 
Century Community Learning Centers program, including Robert Stonehill, Shawn 
Mussington, Sara Koenig, Jennifer Rinehart, and Steven Balkcom, gave invaluable 
assistance in identifying exemplary programs. 






Ogden Community Learning Center, Ogden, Kansas 9 

Connections tor Youth: 21st Century 

Community Learning Centers, St. Louis, Missouri 11 

Project "Lights and Action," Dallas, Texas 13 

Art Attack!, 21st Century Community Learning Center, Calhoun County, Florida . . 15 

Court Youth Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico 17 


U.S. Department of Education 19 

National Endowment for the Arts 19 


Web Sites 21 

Publications 24 


Today, more than 28 million school-age children have parents who work outside the 
home, and as many as 15 million "latch-key children" return to empty homes after 
school. Those statistics and others, such as the fact that serious juvenile crime tends 
to peak in the hours between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., demonstrate the need for effective 
after-school programs. To help communities meet that need, the U.S. Department of 
Education has instituted the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, 
which supports after-school, summer and weekend activities in neighborhood schools. 

This report provides a brief introduction to the role of the arts in those programs. It 
consists of a brief summary of recent research findings about both arts and after- 
school programs, a description of the key elements of successful programs and some 
key examples that showcase partnerships between schools and community-based 
organizations. For the purposes of this report, arts activities cover a wide range, 
including instrumental and vocal music, dance, theater, creative writing and the visual 
arts such as painting, sculpture, digital art and photography. 

Research results to which the report refers come from a series of recent studies that 
are cited at the end of the report under "Publications," along with information on how 
to obtain them. 

This report is issued under the auspices of the Partnership for Family Involvement in 
Education, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education that brings together 
schools, community organizations, employers, congregations and parents working in 
common to improve education for all children. 

21st Century Community Learning Centers 

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, authorized under 
Title X, Part I, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is a key com- 
ponent of the administration's commitment to help families and communities 
keep their children safe and smart. The 21st Century Community Learning 
Centers, supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, enable 
school districts to fund public schools as community education centers, 
keeping children safe in the after-school hours while they learn and build 
new skills. Congress has supported this initiative by appropriating nearly $454 
million for after-school programs in fiscal year 2000, more than double the fis- 
cal year 1999 appropriation of $200 million. In fact, this program has 
increased tenfold since 1998. This increase in funding brings the total number 
of 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants to 903, spanning every 
state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the 
Federated States of Micronesia. These grants provide high-quality academ- 
ic, arts, and cultural enrichment and expanded youth services, within a com- 
munity schools context, for 3,610 schools and provide services to over 615,000 
children and 225,000 adults. For fiscal year 2001 , Congress has appropriated 
nearly $846 million. 


In a recent report, Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, published 
jointly by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the Arts 
Education Partnership, several independent researchers concluded that engagement in 
the arts nurtures the development of cognitive, social and personal competencies. Arts 
programs can increase academic achievement, help decrease youth involvement in 
delinquent behavior and improve youth attitudes about themselves and the future. 

More specifically, researchers found that learning in and through the arts: 

^ Contributes significantly to improved critical thinking, problem posing, problem 

solving and decision-making; 
^ Involves the communication, manipulation, interpretation and understanding of 

complex symbols, as do language and mathematics; 
^ Fosters higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation; 
-> Regularly engages multiple skills and abilities; and 
-► Develops a person's imagination and judgment. 

While many types of after-school programs provide important access, extension and 
support to children's learning and social development, those that include the arts add 
a special dimension, outlined below. Furthermore, after-school programs add important 
elements to in-school arts curricula through extended engagement with the artistic 
process beyond the usual 45-minute school periods. Extra time for instruction and 
structured exploration give students more satisfactory opportunities for self-expression 
or development of their abilities in one or more art forms. This, in turn, enables these 
young people to develop the motivation, skills and discipline necessary to make mean- 
ingful contributions to solo or group projects. They learn about the importance of high 
standards of achievement for themselves and others. They experience what it means to 
maintain focus and how sustained practice can lead to higher levels of proficiency. 

Research shows that children who participate in after-school programs generally attain 
higher academic achievement, behave better in class, handle conflict more effectively 
and cooperate more with authority figures and with their peers than their counterparts 

who are not in after-school programs. (This research is summarized in the publication 
Safe and Smart: Making the After-School Hours Work for Kids released in 1998 by the 
U.S. Department of Education and revised in April 2000 as Working for Children and 
Families: Safe and Smart After-School Programs.) Arts learning experiences can alter 
the attitudes of young people toward themselves and each other. For example, stu- 
dents involved in sustained theater arts (scene study, acting techniques, dramatic or 
musical theater production) often show gains not only in reading proficiency, but also 
in self-control and motivation and in empathy and tolerance for others. Arts activities 
can promote shared purpose and the team spirit required, for example, to perform in 
an ensemble music group or to design and paint an urban mural. 

Learning in and through the arts can even help students overcome the obstacles of dis- 
advantaged backgrounds. For example, one of the Champions of Change reports, using 
data from a study that followed over 25,000 students for 10 years, found that students 
consistently involved in music and theater show significantly higher levels of mathe- 
matics proficiency by grade 12 — regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

Schools and youth organizations have indicated that the most important factor in the 
success of their programs is the relationship between participants and the adults who 
work with them. After-school arts programs give young people direct contact with 
artists and other professionals who work in arts organizations. Young people in these 
programs gain substantial learning and practice opportunities with adults and older 
youth who serve as teachers and mentors. These professionals do not replace in-school 
arts teachers, but they do support, supplement, and enhance in-school education. 

According to Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons from School Districts that Value Arts 
Education, released in 1999 by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities 
and the Arts Education Partnership, the most critical element in sustaining arts learn- 
ing efforts appears to be active community involvement in shaping and implementing 
policies and programs. After-school programs offer outstanding opportunities to 
engage community resources, such as symphonies or museums, which in turn engage 
their own networks, volunteers, suppliers and others. These resources can then be 
applied to in-school programs as well, thus supporting and enhancing the work of pro- 
fessional teachers. Several of the examples cited below demonstrate how in-school and 
after-school programs can work together as part of a comprehensive, district-wide and 
community-wide strategy to give all children a top-quality education in the arts. 


Why do after- school efforts that include the arts work so well? What is it participants 
are actually learning? What is critical to the success of these programs? 

The Working for Children and Families: Safe and Smart After-School Programs report 
identified from the research literature eight key components of a quality after-school 
program. These characteristics of high-quality after-school programs, now widely 
acknowledged as key to a program's success, help ensure children's continued growth, 
development and learning throughout the pre-adolescent and adolescent school years. 
The eight components are: 

1 . Goal setting, strong management and sustainability 
^ Focus on the goals of the program 

^ Solid organizational structure 

-> Effective management and sustainability 

-♦ Meeting legal requirements 

2. Quality after-school staffing 

^ Role of the program administrator 

-> Hiring and retaining qualified staff 

^ Professional development for staff 

-> Use of volunteers 

^ Low staff-to-student ratio 

^ Smaller group sizes 

3. Attention to safety, health and nutrition issues 

^ Creating safe places with adequate space and materials 
-> Meeting nutritional needs 

4. Effective partnerships with community-based organizations, juvenile justice agen- 
cies, law enforcement and youth groups 

-* Steps to building an after-school partnership 
-> Using community resources effectively 

5. Strong involvement of families 

-> Involving families and youth in program planning 
-> Attending to the needs of working parents 

6. Enriching learning opportunities 

-> Providing engaging opportunities to grow and learn 

-> Challenging curriculum in an enriching environment 

-> Coordinating learning with the regular school day 

-* Linking school-day and after-school curriculum 

7. Linkages between school-day and after-school personnel 
■4 Planning time to maximize children's opportunities 
-* Coordinated use of facilities and resources 

8. Evaluation of program progress and effectiveness 
-> Designing effective evaluations 

-> Using data for improvement 

Characteristics of Effective Arts Programs 

In 1996, the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities issued, Coming 
Up Taller: Arts and Humanities Programs for Children and Youth at Risk, pro- 
duced in cooperation with Americans tor the Arts, that identitied characteris- 
tics similar to those listed in Working for Children and Families for after-school 
arts programs. For example, it recommended that programs emphasize 
hands-on learning and apprenticeship relationships, and that they take full 
advantage of the capacity of the arts to develop social skills such as team- 
work, self-respect and self-discipline as well as verbal, math and physical skills. 
Building on what young people already value, such programs should provide 
opportunities for success, shaped by the youth themselves. Like Working for 
Children and Families, the report also recognized that positive adult relation 

ships are central to success; that quality staff, small class size, and long-term 
sustainability are critical elements; and that programs should serve as gate- 
ways to other services for children and youth. 



The following 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs, supported by 
grants from the U.S. Department of Education, are examples of how local communities 
across the country are meeting the need for safe and smart after- school activities that 
serve young people of all ages. These examples are by no means exhaustive; they are 
intended to illustrate the kinds of after-school programs that are working in schools 
and communities. 

Community Learning Centers provide these expanded learning opportunities for partici- 
pating children in safe, drug-free and supervised environments. Enabling schools to 
stay open longer, they are places where children have access to: 

-> Homework centers; 

-* Intensive mentoring in basic skills; 

-> Drug and violence prevention counseling; 

-> Help for preparing to take college prep courses in high school; 

-> Academic, artistic and cultural enrichment activities; 

-> Technology education programs; and 

-> Services relating to disabilities. 

A key feature of each after-school program on the following pages is the partnerships 
they have with other organizations. Several of the examples are in schools that use 
after-school and in-school programs together to provide quality learning opportunities 
and to improve student achievement. 


Ogden Community Learning Center 
Ogden, Kansas 

Contact: Barbara Tierney 

Ogden Elementary School 

Kids don't just experience art in a classroom; they can experience art in the 
world around them. - Barbara Tierney 

Ogden, Kansas, is a rural community of 1,494 people located near the geographic cen- 
ter of the United States. There is no health service, no public transportation, no public 
library, community center, senior center or movie theater. But Ogden Elementary 
School has a strong commitment to arts education. Winner of a Comprehensive School 
Reform Demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the school follows 
a model the essential goal of which is to make all children literate in language, numer- 
acy and the arts. That includes hands-on experiences so that students can become 
familiar with real works of art and create their own works using an artistic medium. 

For several years, the school has used state "at-risk" monies to develop an educational 
partnership with the Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University. Every time a 
new exhibition opens, each class visits the museum for a tour and hands-on activity. 
Funding from the Kansas Arts Commission has supported artists in residence as well 
as trips to the museum and other arts organizations. According to Ogden 's principal, 
it's hard to measure children's sense of respect, responsibility and self-discipline, but 
the results of an arts-centered program are easy to discern. Even the bus drivers com- 
pliment her on the children's behavior now! 

When it received a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, Ogden Elementary 
tried something new: it used a portion of its funds to help support the Young Curators 

Project for sixth-graders at the local middle school. The rationale: many of the middle- 
schoolers are graduates of Ogden who will return next year to their elementary school 
as seventh-grade mentors. In this way, the students' carefully nurtured relationship 
with the Beach Museum will be strengthened and they will bring their new skills and 
knowledge back to Ogden in a new role. 

The sixth-graders, mentored by the entire museum staff, created a public exhibition 
from the Beach Museum's collection. Tasks included research and label writing, pro- 
ducing a catalogue, fundraising, public relations and programming, such as an opening 
for parents and friends and other member of the public as part of the Museum's "Arts 
Above the Arch" series. As a result, the students received excellent press coverage of 
the event through local television, radio and newspaper. All of this coverage empha- 
sized the partnership and the students' gains in achievement and self-esteem. 

The museum received support for Young Curators from the Kansas Arts Commission, 
Intrust Bank, and the Manhattan Broadcasting Company, Inc. Next year, the muse- 
um, a member of the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, will partner 
with another Community Learning Center to focus on curriculum development, teach- 
ers' workshops, artists' residencies, and after-school and summer programming. 


Connections for Youth: 21st Century Community Learning Centers 
St. Louis, Missouri 

Contact: Rose M. Thompson 

21st Century Community Learning Centers 
St. Louis Public Schools 

This grant has really opened up opportunities and let us make connections 
with arts resources... resources that were out there, just waiting to be used. 
- Rose M. Thompson 

"Connections For Youth: A 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program" pro- 
vides after-school and Saturday programs for 650 students in grades four through 
eight in the St. Louis Public Schools. Activities in the program's seven community 
learning centers include after-school academic acceleration, enrichment and recreation; 
a Saturday academy focusing on science, math and technology; parent education and 
support programs; and professional development for program staff. The program has 
also availed itself of community arts resources. 

The Center of Contemporary Arts (COCA), a non-profit community-based arts center, 
provides extensive subsidized outreach initiatives to select St. Louis Community 
Learning Centers. It provides in-school residencies, after-school workshops lasting 
eight to ten weeks (in mural painting, poster design, pottery and mixed media) and 
summer programs that include the arts and technology. Twice a week, students come 
to COCA or staff are sent to the Community Learning Center. Instruction, supplies 
and administrative costs are supported by the Community Learning Center grant. 

Activities have included five in-school broadcasts at Clay Elementary School that high- 
lighted significant changes, individuals and events that affect the students' school com- 
munity. Curriculum connections are made to social studies, math, art and language 


arts. Students have participated in a year-long residency and have been exposed to the 
technical aspects of videotaping, script-writing, investigative reporting and interviews, 
and on-camera and off-camera production. 

Another COCA project, ARTS-tainment, provides a series of hands-on art projects, such 
as collages, montages, wall hangings, and dolls and villages, designed to promote lan- 
guage and thinking skills, social interaction and collective activity, concentration, self- 
expression, hand-eye coordination, balance and play. Introduction to dance, at Carver 
Elementary School, gives children the opportunity to explore different dance styles, 
techniques, vocabulary and history, and to discover the benefits of physical fitness, dis- 
cipline, self-confidence, self-expression and teamwork. According to COCA staff, chil- 
dren in the program who have not had previous concentrated exposure in the arts 
learn a whole new way to look at the world around them. Students not only learn 
about the arts, but also learn more about themselves and their environment. 

Another service provider for the Community Learning Centers is the Taproots School 
of the Arts, which centers on the book-making arts. Marking the first collaboration 
between the city's Board of Education and Taproots, the Community Learning Center 
grant pays for Taproots staff to come into the schools as well as to bring students to 
Taproots. Printmaking, letterpress, papermaking, paper marbling and photography 
classes help students to weave image and word together through all their activities. 
No classes exceed 10 students in size. 

Similarly, the Portfolio Gallery and Educational Center involves the Community 
Learning Centers' participants in eight- to-ten-week workshops in mural painting, 
poster design, pottery, and mixed media. The Community Learning Center grant pays 
for instruction and supplies as well as administrative costs. As at Taproots, in some 
cases the children come to the facility, while in others staff are sent to the Community 
Learning Centers. The schools are also working with many other cultural organiza- 
tions, such as the St. Louis Science Center and the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

The St. Louis Public Schools is a proud member of the Partnership for Family 
Involvement in Education, as is the Columbia School, one of the seven Community 
Learning Centers in the "Connections for Youth" program. 


Project "Lights and Action" 
Dallas Independent School District 
Dallas, Texas 

Contact: Gigi Antoni 

Some schools look like prisons, but when there is art in schools it changes 
the way kids talk to each other, the way they behave. - Ron Morris, 
Teacher, Tolbert Elementary School, Dallas 

Using a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, Project "Lights and Action" 
has established six secondary and 1 1 elementary community learning centers across 
the Dallas Independent School District, the tenth largest district in the nation. "Lights 
and Action" sites will offer services to over 1 1,000 students and 4,700 adults. 

Working with Project "Lights and Action," ArtsPartners is a collaboration of the City of 
Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the public schools and 50 of the city's arts and cultur- 
al organizations. The goal is to maximize learning in Dallas schools through the inte- 
gration of arts and cultural programs into the curricula. ArtsPartners, which is a 
grantee of the National Endowment for the Arts, coordinates 650 cultural outreach pro- 
grams, educates teachers about the availability and value of these programs, provides 
technical assistance to help educators implement the programs and provides access to 
the funding needed to pay for them. 

This comprehensive coordinated effort seeks to maximize the impact of Dallas' best arts 
and cultural programs on learning both in the classroom and after school. Not only 
are students receiving services during the school day but also, as a result of a 21st 
Century Community Learning Centers grant, children are benefiting from after-school 


arts education programming that supports academic and enrichment goals. 
ArtsPartners works with each 21st Community Learning Center campus to design a 
customized program that meets its specific needs. 

Young Audiences of Greater Dallas was contracted by the City of Dallas to serve as the 
managing partner of ArtsPartners. It is charged with developing the partnership's pro- 
cedures and policies, and with recruiting and coordinating the participating organiza- 
tions as well as the volunteer community leadership and staff to implement and 
expand the program. Young Audiences also coordinates the development and distribu- 
tion of educational materials pertaining to the program, manages all financial proce- 
dures for the program (including the recruitment of private funding), develops techno- 
logical tools and develops and implements a comprehensive assessment program. By 
the end of its three-year pilot phase, ArtsPartners expects to provide arts-in-education 
services to every elementary school child in the Dallas public schools. 

ArtsPartners has provided approximately 2,000 parents and children with arts and cul- 
tural programming and 50 teachers with professional development opportunities at 10 
schools. Twenty Dallas arts and cultural institutions have provided programs, includ- 
ing field trips with parents and teachers, residencies, summer camps, and perfor- 
mances. Providers range from the Dallas Zoo to the Junior Players Guild, from Anita 
N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico to the Age of Steam Museum. Seventy-five Dallas artists 
received training in child development, program design, curriculum integration, class- 
room management and teacher communication skills. An Arts-in-Education Superday, 
attended by 350 educators, principals, artists, parents, arts and cultural agency repre- 
sentatives and civic leaders, featured speakers from Texas and across the United States 
who gave lectures/workshops in grant writing, multiple intelligences, literacy, curricu- 
lum integration and arts-in-education research. More than two dozen Dallas artists 
and arts organizations provided cultural services to students and teachers. Teachers, 
principals and parent volunteers associated with the ArtsPartners' 21st Century 
Community Learning Center have been enthusiastic. They particularly enjoy the many 
flexible alternatives for after-school enrichment that ArtsPartners offers. 

The Dallas public school system is a member of the Partnership for Family Involvement 
in Education. In June 2000, this collaboration was featured in the U.S. Department of 
Education's Satellite Town Meeting. For a videotape of this program, which was titled 
"Learning Everywhere - In and Out of School," please call 1-877-4ED-PUBS. 


Art Attack!, 21st Century Community Learning Center 
W.T. Neal Civic Center/Blountstown Middle School 
Calhoun County, Florida 


Suella McMillan 
Executive Director 
W.T. Neal Civic Center 

These are kids who don't get out to museums, so we bring the world to 
them. - Suella McMillan 

Art Attack!, a program designed by the non-profit Neal Civic Center, provides free, posi- 
tive, constructive and educational opportunities for at-risk children and their families 
during non-school hours. The program consists of the following components: eight- 
week summer day camps; Saturday programs for 21 weeks to parallel the school calen- 
dar; weekly tutoring and mentoring for Saturday program participants; and weekly in- 
school tutoring, mentoring and counseling. 

The curriculum includes literature, visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpting), music, 
dance, drumming, architectural interpretation (as part of regional history), aesthetics 
and art criticism, art appreciation, public performances, nutrition education and a fam- 
ily literacy program. National and international artists demonstrate for and work with 
the children. For example, artists in residence have included a mosaicist and a play- 
wright, among others. The playwright wrote a play based on local stories, which was 
produced with local actors and actresses. The mosaicist's six-month residency was 
secured through the National Endowment for the Arts' Artists & Communities 
Millennium Project, which engaged a Millennium Artist for each of the 50 states and 
six special jurisdictions to focus on the power of the arts in addressing fundamental 
issues of community life. 

In 2000, students undertook the Mars Millennium Project, a national initiative that 


challenges students to design a human community for the red planet by combining 
arts, sciences and technology. Additional future activities include an internship pro- 
gram for college students majoring in child development and art education, therapy or 
administration; a traveling exhibition of the children's work; and public art performances 
offered free in each community. Plans include video documentation of this project so it 
can be used as a prototype for rural art intervention programs nationwide. 

This Community Learning Center program places great emphasis on family involve- 
ment. For example, it draws families into leadership roles in countywide events via 
their supervision of community-produced exhibits. Families' expertise and resources 
are used to compile a written community history. Also, families are offered a wide 
menu of volunteer and leadership opportunities, such as hosting performances, creat- 
ing and caring for exhibits, and identifying local needs and the roles they might play in 
meeting them. Throughout, parents can make choices according to their schedules, 
preferences and talents. 

The Neal Civic Center established Art Attack! at three local libraries independently of 
the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. It then secured a grant on 
behalf of the Calhoun County School Board from the 21st Century Community 
Learning Centers program for a fourth site: the Blountstown Middle School. It received 
funding for additional programming from the Department of Juvenile Justice, The 
Florida Arts Council, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Neal Center's arts 
and education budget. Altogether, the program currently serves 170 students and their 
families. The Neal Center provides program management and supervision, service 
delivery, fiscal management, reporting, and grant management. 


Court Youth Center 

Margaret S. Ryan Safe After School Program 

Las Cruces, New Mexico 

Contact: Irene Oliver Lewis 

Executive Director and Artistic Director 
Court Youth Center 

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant has enabled Court 
Youth Center to provide children, youth and families in our community with 
greater access to an educational arts facility and authentic arts experiences 
in our arts-based Safe After School program- Irene Oliver Lewis 

The Court Youth Center (CYC), located in an old junior high school, is home to youth 
and community programs in the visual and performing arts and other areas. CYC is a 
partnership between the schools, who own the building, and the City of Las Cruces. 
Together with the Las Cruces Public School District, it has established a network of 
seven 21st Century Community Learning Centers, expanding the Safe After School 
program started in 1997. The learning centers are based at the individual schools and 
use CYC as an off-campus laboratory and studio for programs and field trips. 

After-school, weekend and summer programs are designed around an arts-based and 
career-focused curriculum which incorporates hands-on meaningful applications of fine 
arts. Activities are linked to the school curriculum and are designed to assist the stu- 
dents in meeting or exceeding academic standards in reading, math, science, creative 
thinking and life skills. These avenues encourage students to become productive citi- 
zens in the community; learn healthy leisure alternatives that contribute to reduced 
drug use and violence; and strive for educational success. 

The ratio of staff is ten to one. The staff consists of a certified school employee of the 


host school as the lead teacher and supervisor; six to eight parent teachers living in the 
neighborhoods; a CYC artistic director, after-school coordinator and six artists to inte- 
grate the arts into the core academic subjects; and leaders from community organiza- 
tions which offer training, volunteers, mentors and additional resources. Safe After 
School staff, CYC staff and artists are trained together to understand the concept and 
techniques of integrating the arts into the regular academic curriculum. Training is 
conducted three times a year. 

There are programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. At the middle 
school, six certified teachers and one educational assistant make up the staff. 
Sessions include photography, a Mars Millennium Project and mural, as well as tennis 
and computers. Working in a team with the teacher, a CYC artist is providing artistic 
guidance for the mural project. Another CYC artist has formed a theatre group. The 
CYC itself hosts a wide variety of other arts activities. 

Estompa de Mejico, a youth ballet Folklorico group at the Court Youth Center, perform 
at the closing ceremony for the Las Cruces, New Mexico 21st Century Community 
Learning Center Safe After School Program which included more than 500 participants 
from kindergarten to 12th grade. 



The U.S. Department ot Education 

The primary mission of the U.S. Department of Education is to ensure equal access to 
education and to promote educational excellence for all Americans. The Department 
encourages schools to consider including the arts as a core academic subject and as an 
important component of school improvement strategies. After-school activities are per- 
missible among a variety of ED programs such as Title I of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities pro- 
gram. Arts education activities are also permissible under many programs. 

An important initiative of the Department is the Partnership for Family Involvement in 
Education (PFIE). PFIE is based on 30 years of research that finds that children learn 
better and are more successful in school when their families and communities are 
involved in their education. Composed of more than 6,100 partners — schools, busi- 
nesses, community groups and faith-based organizations — PFIE addresses issues, pro- 
vides information, expands professional development and offers opportunities for shar- 
ing and networking. Based at the Department, the PFIE staff organize regional and 
national forums and conferences on current, family-friendly policies and exemplary 
practices; provide the partners with comprehensive management and assessment tools; 
and use resources and research from a variety of sources to mobilize interest, energy 
and expertise through publications, a Web site, and extended technical assistance. 

Since 1997, the Department has supported the 21st Century Community Learning 
Centers program as a key component of the administration's efforts to keep children 
safe outside of regular school hours; to provide academic and other enrichment oppor- 
tunities for children; and to provide life-long learning opportunities for communities. 

National Endowment for the Arts 

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is committed to advancing arts learning in 
this country. It works with agencies and organizations that are involved with pre- 


kindergarten through grade 12 and youth arts at the national and state levels. For 
decades, the NEA has implemented partnerships with state arts agencies in the area of 
arts learning. 

Within the school setting, the Endowment recommends a sequential education in the 
arts for all children that is linked to content standards, taught by qualified teachers, 
regularly engages artists, and brings students into contact with works of art. In addi- 
tion, the NEA supports the arts beyond the classroom through visual arts workshops in 
community centers, creative writing programs in YMCAs, student-created exhibitions 
on local history, summer dance camps, "behind the scenes" opera programs, folk arts 
classes, a young professional conductors program, museum volunteer training pro- 
grams for senior citizens and young students, and collaborative cross-generational 
events including workshops, performances, exhibits and oral history projects. 

Staff, students, and family members at the St. Louis Public Schools' Carver Elementary 
21st Century Community Learning Center celebrate the culmination of a ten-week pro- 
gram with Portfolio Art Gallery and Education Center. Students provided detailed infor- 
mation about how they developed their pottery, sculptures, and other products. 



Web Sites 

Americans for the Arts 

Americans for the Arts has produced the YouthARTS Tool Kit. Based on rigorous 
research, the kit features a step-by-step handbook, a video and "lessons learned" video 
supplement, and a diskette with sample paperwork such as contracts, evaluation forms 
and other materials already in use by youth arts programs. For more information, call 

Arts Education Partnership 

The Arts Education Partnership is a coalition of over 100 national education, arts, 
business, philanthropic and government organizations that promote arts education and 
demonstrate its role in enabling all students to succeed in school, life and work. 

The Coming Up Taller Awards Program 

Sponsored by the NEA and the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities 
(PCAH), the Coming Up Taller program recognizes some of the outstanding after-school, 
weekend and summer programs for children from at-risk communities that are cur- 
rently fostering the creative and intellectual development of America's youth. These 
awards focus national attention on concrete examples of the arts and humanities bene- 
fiting this country. Accompanied by a cash award, the awards not only reward these 
projects with recognition but also contribute financial support for their continued 
work. For more information on the awards program, go to PCAH's web site at 
http/ / 

Institute of Museum and Library Services 

This federal agency supports museums' and libraries' ability to serve the public 
through grants to institutions, agencies, and professional associations. 


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 

The Kennedy Center provides resources for students, educators, artists, and the public 
to experience and explore the arts. It has issued "The Arts Beyond the School Day: 
Extending the Power." Identifying essential elements of arts-based after-school pro- 
grams and a list of quality indicators that help describe each essential element, the 
report calls for submission of best practice models. For information contact ARTSEDGE, a national arts and education information 
network, supports the place of arts education at the center of the curriculum through 
creative and appropriate uses of technology and helps educators to teach in, through 
and about the arts: 

The Mars Millennium Project 

Through the arts, science and technology, this project challenges students to design a 
future community for the planet Mars. It is a White House Millennium Council Youth 
Initiative, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Department of 
Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory, and the J. Paul Getty Trust. 

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies 

Their mission is to advance a meaningful role for the arts in the lives of individuals, 
families and communities in all 50 states and six jurisdictions. 

National Endowment for the Arts 

As described above, the NEA supports arts education in a variety of ways. For infor- 
mation on its grants programs, go to 

Partnership for Family Involvement in Education 

This site has information on the partnership and how to join; a list of members; part- 
ner activities; and a comprehensive listing of U.S. Department of Education publica- 
tions on family and community involvement, including after-school programs; and 
other resources. 


President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 

The President's Committee was created by Presidential Executive Order to encourage 
private sector support and to increase public appreciation for the arts and the humani- 
ties through projects, publications and meetings. 

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program 

This Web site provides detailed information including applications, answers to fre- 
quently asked questions, a searchable database of grantees and much more. 

U.S. Department of Education 

Find the latest news about national education issues; review education-related publica- 
tions and statistics; and learn about the offices and programs at the U.S. Department 
of Education. 

U.S. Department of Justice 

Justice for Kids and Youth Home Page 

www.usdoj .gov/ kidspage 

The U.S. Department of Justice supports after-school programs that include the arts. 
At this Web site, children and youth can learn about crime prevention, staying safe, 
volunteer and community service opportunities, and the criminal justice system. 



As you think about organizing and implementing an after-school program, you can find 
helpful information and other free publications through the U.S. Department of 
Education's Web site. To order publications, call ED Pubs, a Department service that 
provides publications free to the public in printed form and in alternate formats, such 
as Braille and large print, upon request. Call toll-free at 877-4ED-PUBS, or order 
online by visiting the Web site at 

Some of the publications available through ED Pubs that you may find helpful are: 

Working for Children and Families: Safe and Smart After-School Programs 

Keeping Schools Open as Community Learning Centers 

Give Us Wings, Let Us Fly 

Bringing Education Into the Afterschool Hours 

After-School Action Kit: Get Into Action 

After-School Programs: Keeping Children Safe and Smart 

A Call to Commitment: Fathers' Involvement in Children's Learning 

The Partnership for Family Involvement in Education: Who We Are and 

What We Do 

Other helpful publications available through other sources are: 

• Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning, available at 

• Gaining the Arts Advantage, available by calling (202) 336-7016. 

• Coming Up Taller: Arts and Humanities Programs for Children and Youth at Risk, 
available by calling (202) 682-5409 or faxing to (202) 682-5668. 

• Creative Partnerships for Prevention: Using the Arts and Humanities to Build 
Resiliency in Youth, available through the U.S. Government Printing Office at 
(202) 512-1803. 


A Thomas Tolbert Elementary stu- 
dent proudly shows ott the 
Navajo weaving that she created 
in the Young Audiences of 
Greater Dallas residency work- 
shop taught by fiber artist Linda 
Disosway. This residency is taught 
in an after-school program that is 
part of the Lights and Action 
Dallas Independent School District 
21st Century Community Learning 
Center Grant. 




for Family 
in Education