Museum Making Connections: After School provides weekly arts making to 10 day care centers and elementary schools in Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia and Lawrence County in Ohio: Chesapeake Elementary, Children’s Place, Culloden Elementary, Explorer Academy's MU STEAM Center, YMCA Day Care, Prichard Elementary, Milton Elementary, Southside Elementary, MU STEAM 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 weekly during the After School program.
The Museum sends Teaching Artists to each After School site every week, fostering 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.
Creativity and innovation abound at HMA’s after school programs.