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Jump-Start Performance Co.’s Arts Education Program builds long-term collaborations with schools, organizations, youth, and other community members. We believe that teaching multi- disciplinary arts techniques and critical thinking skills nurtures mutual respect and individual creativity to effect dynamic change in our community.
Art is a powerful tool for empowering individuals to discover constructive ways to make their voices heard, to impact their communities, and to take control of their future. Through the arts, individuals can hone higher-level thinking skills, explore group processes, problem-solve for the future, develop creative potential and self-esteem, learn multidisciplinary processes (using various arts disciplines), and enhance cognitive development. In its educational work, Jump- Start plays a pioneering role in creating programs that focus on long-term collaboration and integrating the arts with social issues and academic achievement.
Fairweather Lodge is a collaboration between Jump-Start Performance Co. and Family Endeavors utilizing the arts to assist adults with chronic mental illness. Participants are Lodge residents who are in a long-term program that includes housing, job training, work opportunities, life-skill training, illness monitoring, and other assistance. Through arts techniques, participants can discover and explore their own self-worth, hone their higher-level thinking skills, explore group process, and learn to problem-solve. Jump-Start artists and Fairweather staff co-teach life-skill training and arts curriculum. Sessions deal with themes such as weight management, dietary needs, medication, coping skills, the stigma of mental illness, exercise, and financial services. The arts are incorporated into the curriculum to reinforce the trainings.
Fairweather Family Lodge
In 2005, Jump-Start expanded its services to include the Fairweather Family Lodge, a transitional facility for mothers with chronic mental illness and their children. Jump-Start’s instructors work with the children to explore the arts, build self-esteem, and participate in collaborative projects. Beginning in 2016, our program with the Family Lodge children will expand offering five Saturday workshops that will expose the children to the performing arts and photography. These projects will culminate in a performance and a photography show at Jump-Start Performance Co. in the spring.
Established in 1991, Historias y Cuentos (Stories and Tales) is Jump-Start’s oldest educational program.
Historias y Cuentos is an expansive program that affords students opportunities to take part in the visual, literary, digital, and performing arts through projects that are based on academic curriculum, as well as social issues that impact their lives. The program’s goals are to integrate arts into the school curriculum, encourage group process through cooperation, develop creative problem-solving skills, cultivate artistic abilities, and promote appreciation of individual and cultural diversity.
The after-school programs at Bonham Academy, Japhet Elementary School, and Woodlawn Academy provide hands-on experiences with the arts, both visual and performance. Jump-Start artists provide guidance integrating the arts in the content areas by sharing a variety of lessons and activities. In 2014-2015, Jump-Start expanded to its first charter school, KIPP Esperanza, a dual language charter school currently serving kindergarten and first-grade students.
Highlights of the Historias y Cuentos program:
- Arts Day at Bonham Academy takes place in the spring when artists from several disciplines come to Bonham to share their art forms in interactive group rotations.
- The “Girl Power” program at Japhet Elementary School focuses on the creation of art that inspires empowerment for young girls. In addition, this after-school program provides hands-on experiences with the arts, both visual and performance.
- The program at KIPP Esperanza focuses on the integration of technology, digital art, and storytelling into the science classrooms. Classes are taught in Spanish. In the 2014-2015 school year, kindergarten students learned how to use iPads for photographing elements of nature. In the 2015-2016 school, students will work with natural materials to enrich the science theme of the natural world.
- Woodlawn Academy is our newest addition to Historias y Cuentos. Our vision is to work alongside administration and teaching staff to provide visual art experiences that are not provided in the general curriculum.
- Every spring, Jump-Start hosts a student art show that highlights students’ work from all of the programs.