To inaugurate a whole new project and program such as the “Afterschool Art Workshop” the school was not liable to foot any of the bills we were inevitably going to encounter, thus came the grant writing. It took my instructor and myself some searching of companies and vendors that were willing to support us in our quest to construct this afterschool event. In doing so he put me in charge of writing some of them out as well as delegating others to do so. He would help guide us through the processes of it, but he made sure that it was the students that were doing the work and reaping the experience – plus the rewards. As I remember we were not turned down by any requested grant that year, which really blew our minds. After doing this we knew we would have the funds, but we didn’t know if it was all going to go to waste. Here we put the graphic designers to work in creating an eye catching advertisement that would really grab the attention of primary and elementary school children as well as their parents. They were wonderful in doing this as almost immediately we were getting responses from child and parent alike wanting more information on the upcoming program. Next we had to make up a curriculum; once again a teacher guided, student planned project. We had the workshop curriculum coincide high-school’s art class’ curriculum so that the young students wouldn’t get as distracting (a task that proved to be tiring). After this was the part that really got people moaning; assigning volunteer days to organize, assist and ultimately watch over the kids during the hours of school dismissal and parents getting out of work. The problem here lied in the fact that AP Art students tended to already be partaking in multiples of after school activities themselves and would now have to parcel out pieces of their time to this project. It the large scheme of things though everyone cooperated and got the days tasked out. As it got started things went according to plan and we even started offering the children some snacks in addition to their art adventures. Day in and day out the kids became more and more attached to the program and as they were telling their friends how fun it was the number kept growing. It grew so much in fact that we had to start turning kids down because of the sheer commitment to them we were making and as to not jeopardize safety we needed to make the number of child per mentor manageable. We would get compliments daily as parents would thank us for our low-priced, flexible paying, healthy and convenient “day-care” type provided assistance.
I started this program as a junior in high school and it is continuing to this day.