Our Impact Areas

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 teaches kids the value of creativity

Teachers and business leaders understand the value of creativity — to innovate, communicate, solve problems, and pursue possibilities.

Students are surprised to learn how adults use creativity in careers like graphic design, architecture, advertising, and game design. Kids are fascinated to learn that the games they play, the ads they see, the chair they sit in, and the design on their clothes all represent jobs that they might want to do one day.

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.”