WSVN -- Carlos Alayeto, Teaching Artist, Arts for Learning: "Frightened. Puzzled. Confused."
These kids are expressing different emotions from frightened to confused to ecstatic. It's all part of Arts for Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to making the arts a critical component of every child's education.
Sheila Womble, Executive Director, Arts for Learning: "The real purpose for Arts for Learning is to help students to really communicate their own knowledge in a way that's going to be unique to them."
This after school program at Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary is truly unique. Students perform exercises to make them think on their feet and improve their public-speaking skills, lessons that will help them through life.
Carlos Alayeto, Teaching Artist, Arts for Learning: "The ability to communicate clearly and be able to present yourself and be aware of what you're presenting I think is an indispensible life skill."
Artist Carlos Alayeto is teaching this class about the Greek tragedies by having them each make their own mask, then act out a scene in their expression, whether it be happy, sad or mad.
Eight-year-old Ralph made an angry mask.
Ralph: "'Cause I'm always mad."
Sheila Womble: "It gives them a chance to express themselves and connect what they know to what's being introduced inside the classroom."
Studies show more than 90 percent of students in Arts for Learning reported an increase in both visual and performing arts skills, as well as creative and critical thinking, and a big boost in self-esteem.
Sheila Womble: "Ultimately, what we're looking to do is to help students with their communication skills and to help them to become nimble and rigorous thinkers, regardless of how old they are."
Caitlin wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. She feels this class will help her reach her goals.
Caitlin Hepburn: ""I'm better at sketching out my designs, especially if I'm going to be a fashion designer."
Nine-year-old Tasunti wants to be a singer. Being part of this class helped her get over her stage fright.
Tasunti Postell: "The more you practice, the more things you want to do and you will get better at it."
In addition to learning, students just have fun expressing themselves through art.
Sheila Womble: "Art is just really about how you communicate an idea, and when kids can communicate something through their own voice using an art form, it's priceless, and it stays with them forever."
Lynn Martinez: "Arts for Learning is a countywide program that serves kids in preschool through high school."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:Arts for LearningTel: (305) 576-1212http://www.a4lmiami.org/