Home In The Arts
VSAVT presents arts activities in a variety of artistic genres for children and families who have been displaced, either because of homelessness, arriving in the U.S. as refugees, or because they need a place to go after school. Partnering with service agencies and schools, VSAVT delivers activities designed to help children and parents develop confidence in self-expression and positive group interaction.
To bring Home In The Arts to your school or organization, contact us.
According to COTS information on homelessness, homeless children:
- Have four times the rate of delayed development
- Are in special education programs at a rate three times higher than other children
- Are suspended twice as often as non-homeless children
- Attend an average of two different schools in a single year
In school and after-school arts programs are proven to increase student academic achievement.
Students who participate in the arts are:
- Four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
- Four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
- Three times more likely to win an award for school attendance
- Three times more likely to be elected to class office within their school
While it is proven that students in arts-rich programs outperform students in arts-poor programs in every measure of academic performance, participation in arts programs makes more of a difference in the performance of low-income students than it does in high income students. [Source: Arts Education Partnership, Champions of Change, The Impact of Arts on Learning, Humanities (PDF Report)]
Recent examples of Home In The Arts programs include a collaboration at the Visiting Nurses Association Family Room in Burlington’s Old North End, where mothers who are refugees discover new connections with long-term low-income residents in their neighborhoods through participation in common arts and literacy activities. The very young children who accompany them receive important experience with cooperative group activities and exploration of new materials that they will need in preschools and kindergarten classrooms.
After School Poetry
VSAVT’s after school poetry program for New American children in grades K-12 at five schools in Chittenden and Washington counties engages refugee children in the playful use of language to examine their new environment and reach back through their lives, calling all their experience to new language. Our teaching poets support a diverse range of students, including those with disabilities and those learning English. Using engaging, accessible literature, each lesson presents challenges that relate to children's lives, from imaginary journeys inside a stone to personal explorations of dream and memory. The poetry program also empowers students to share their work with the community through readings, displays, and opportunities for print and online publication.
I'm dreaming about my
Our food smells sweet and we're sharing
bowls of soup. We eat together every night.
I hear soft talking.
I hear dishes being washed.
Outside the wind is whistling.
Our hearts are filled with shining light.
-Asho (Grade 5)
Last night the moon
was talking to me.
Yesterday my hand was singing.
Last night when I was reading I went into the book and saw the wolf and seven kids.
Last night the bathroom was saying to me, "Beauty, you're so cute, my darling."
Last night my blanket took me into the sky, and we saw God.
-Safia (Grade 4)