Every year, our Arts & Smarts staff and volunteers are privileged to be part of many, many children’s learning and growth. They experience moments, both momentous and small, that tell them that a child’s life is better for having been part of Patchwork’s Arts & Smarts Program and that the world is a better place because that child’s life is better.
The Arts & Smarts Program ended for the school year last Thursday, and this ending was a good occasion for us to reflect on a few of those moments:
- A boy who Phyllis tutored insisted, “I CAN’T READ!” He spent months struggling with most words, but late this spring he was able to read a math problem. Then he looked at her with surprise and said, “I thought I couldn’t read!” Phyllis was so happy.
- At the Year End Celebration, two boys received bicycles as prizes for most improved grades among all of the students in the tutoring program. Dixie was so happy to see the excitement on their faces as they were recognized as the winners. For both of them, it was significant recognition of their hard work throughout the year. Dixie reflected, “It makes you feel good that they improved their grades so much.”
- Fifth graders are officially “Junior Leaders in Training,” learning how to be good leaders and good examples for the younger children. This year included one boy who is in 5th grade and who has experienced a lot challenges in life. His mother has observed him taking on more responsibility at Patchwork this year. He’s also enjoyed making art and ceramics pieces–something he does more easily than his sister for whom many things come easily. Patchwork has given him the space to succeed.
- Staff observations about another boy and the value of positive relationships between adults and youth: When he knows other people believe in him, he does better. When he doesn’t believe he is a problem child, he does better.
- One boy’s little voice excitedly ringing out over the crowd at the Year End Celebration with the words, “It’s me!” every time a photo of him appeared during the slide show.
- Things I find laying on tables at Patchwork: A piece of notebook paper titled “The Story of Peyton.” Peyton came to Patchwork to learn to read. He learned really quickly. Peyton likes to play the math game. Peyton acts very silly sometimes. Miss Phyllis teaches me to read. Sometimes Peyton gets in the Treasure Box.
Our summer Arts & Smarts Children’s Programming is right around the corner. You’ll find the schedule below. Registration forms for children, high schoolers, and adults are available in our main office and on our website: www.patchwork.org.
Please call our main office ((812) 424-2735) for additional information.