What experts say about Art Buddies

The people who work with the kids every day — their teachers, supervisors and parents — confirm the positive impact of Art Buddies. Over the years, here is what they’ve told us:

Art Buddies empowers kids.

Teachers tell us that by forming a positive relationship with a creative mentor, someone who nurtures their spirits, the kids experience a big boost in self-esteem.

Davonte, a boy with a rough home life and no dad, had not worked or cooperated in school for 2 years. His teacher was amazed to see his transformation in Art Buddies, to watch him bond with his mentor and feel joy and pride in his achievement.

LaKeisha, a homeless, depressed girl, got her spirit back after being in Art Buddies. She was paired with a wonderful mentor who made her smile again. She told her teachers how much she loved Art Buddies, how it helped her feel more cheerful and confident.

Art Buddies motivates kids to learn.

One father told us, “Before Art Buddies, my boy got 2’s and 3’s on his spelling tests. After Art Buddies, he got 12’s. He felt so proud of himself in your program, he started trying harder in school!”

A teacher said, “At Art Buddies, every child is successful. For some, it’s the first time they know what success feels like. They want more of that feeling, so they work harder in school to get it.”

Art Buddies increases school attendance.

Our program is so popular with students, school attendance goes UP on Art Buddies days. One teacher said, “All week long, the kids talked about how excited they were to see their Art Buddy again.”

The After-School coordinator told us we had the highest attendance rate of all her programs — which is rare for a group as large as ours.

Art Buddies improves behavior and social skills.

Teachers repeatedly warned us about problem behavior with their kids. Then, during Art Buddies, they were astounded to see huge improvement in their students’ conduct.

“Kids who were having a horrible day—-cussing, wrestling, goofing off—-suddenly changed at the door to Art Buddies. I think it’s the one-on-one attention. They really need that,” said one teacher.

Art Buddies helps kids plan ahead and stay on task.

Teachers report that students gain valuable life-skills in Art Buddies by learning to create and execute a plan, and by learning to focus on a task over a long period of time.

“Most of these kids don’t know how to do that,” one teacher told us. “The goal-setting and execution skills they develop in Art Buddies can help them succeed in life.”

Art Buddies introduces kids to creative careers.

Teachers know the value of expanding a child’s view of their future. Most of the kids have no idea that the TV ad they’re watching, or the logo on their sneakers, represents a JOB. Our mentors show the kids it’s possible to make a good living by being creative.