Museum Making Connections: After School provides a weekly arts education program to 11 day care centers and elementary schools in Cabell, Wayne and Putnam counties: Children’s Place, Village of Barboursville Elementary, Culloden Elementary, YMCA Day Care, Prichard Elementary, the J. W. Scott Center, Milton Elementary, Meadows Elementary, Southside Elementary, MU STEM Center, and Ebenezer Outreach. The program follows an exciting curriculum that builds skills in the visual arts while emphasizing 21st Century Learning Skills, recognized by the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio as critical to a child’s intellectual development. Thinking critically, applying knowledge to new situations, analyzing information, comprehending new ideas, communicating, collaborating, solving problems and making decisions – all of these are 21st Century Learning Skills that students practice during the After School program.
The Museum sends teachers to each After School center every week. The ongoing nature of this program fosters opportunities for mentoring between teachers and students. Teachers equipped with materials and supplies bring an art activity to the after school site and conduct an hour-long art project. The weekly projects center around an eight-step curriculum designed to help the child see himself/herself as important and as a vital part of a bigger picture. The curriculum enables the child to build skills and develop self-confidence through repeated successes.
The teachers design the art projects based on these eight steps. There is no limit to the art projects and varieties of materials that can be used in addressing this sequential curriculum. Projects change each year, and can range from self-portraits to mask-making to painting to collage to sculpture ... and more!
Creativity and innovation abound at HMA’s after school programs.