Young Audiences Summer Arts Academy group photo

Summer Arts and Learning Academy: Parents Reflect on their Child’s Transformation

Young Audiences Summer Arts Academy group photo

We spoke with several parents of Young Audiences Summer Arts and Learning Academy students for their take on the experience.

What a summer! As we head back into classrooms for this school year, we can’t help but reminisce about such a wonderful Young Audiences Summer Arts and Learning Academy. July’s free, five week program encouraged 800+ Baltimore City students grades K-5 to explore creation and expression through arts like painting, poetry, dance, filmmaking, songwriting and visual art. Students used arts integration to build skills in language arts and math while exploring and developing their artistic interests.  

Not only did we and our students love the experience, but their parents did too! We spoke with parents to get their take on the Summer Arts and Learning Academy and its benefits for their children:

Albert Fluker, Father of Uriah, incoming 5th grader: A big fan of Summer Arts and Learning Academy, Albert would recommend the program to any parent, highlighting how it encourages free self-expression in public while also allowing for parent-child bonding.

The children get to partake in something they really enjoy and parents have the opportunity to bond  with them while doing it. Together, Uriah and I learned to build a walking robot and attended  workshop with dancers. It was awesome. I even attended the Artscape performance, where kids had the flexibility to express themselves. They overcame fear and shyness and build confidence to perform in public.”

Young Audiences Summer Arts Academy Parent Workshop making robots with FutreMakers
Summer Arts and Learning Academy Parent Workshop with FutureMakers

Nikia Smith, Mother of Bailey, incoming 1st grader: Nikia liked the arts-integration and visual approach to teaching at Summer Arts Academy. It helped her daughter open up and focus on topics she was less excited about.

I really like the way the arts were integrated into the academics like math and reading. Bailey is a visual  learner, and she was very excited knowing something fun was coming up at the end of the day. It helped  her focus and practice her math and reading. Additionally, the collective style of teaching and  learning – lots of dancing and singing – had Bailey opening up more throughout the year. I think that’s  because of the arts. It really opens the mind!”  

Young Audiences Summer Arts Academy First grader creating Math Monsters with cut paper
First grader creating Math Monsters with cut paper in arts integration period.

Lorna Ajala, Mother of Tiffini, incoming 6th grader: Lorna and her daughter Tiffini can’t get enough of the Summer Arts Academy. She praised how integrating the arts opened her daughter’s mind to new possibilities and built confidence.

Summer Arts Academy truly brings out and introduces new possibilities to a child. Tiffini has always  enjoyed artsy things, but she would constantly say she wanted to be a lawyer. Then, when she  experienced Summer Arts Academy and was introduced to various art forms, it really sparked something in her. Now, she wants to be a designer. She was so amazed that she could have these opportunities. I am so glad this program came about!”

At the Summer Arts Academy, middle school students work on hand-building techniques in artist, Mama Sallah's, classroom.         Young Audiences Summer Arts Academy Fashion Design project for culminating performance at Thomas Jefferson Elementary Middle          _MG_1733

Hearing this amazing feedback is why we do what we do. The arts can have a life-changing effect on a child, and integrating them with education has benefits in and out of the classroom. It builds confidence, encourages expression, and introduces kids to new possibilities.

See more photos from the Summer Arts and Learning Academy on our Flickr!

To learn more about the Summer Arts Academy or how Young Audiences can reach your child or classroom, click here