Reason #28: Enhancing academic achievement

Categories:Projects
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma

*cino needs YOU to vote each day in December to help us win a $50,000 grant to renovate the old kindergarten room at Huss School! Why vote? Read on…
Reason #28: Collaborating on artistic events can cultivate skills to improve academic achievement, teaching Three Rivers youth about commitment, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and conflict resolution.
Consider this scenario: a 16-year-old boy goes to school every day, but only because it’s better than being at home. Pre-occupied with his family issues and jittery from too much soda and not enough calories at home, he can’t focus on his classes and his grades show it. Music is the only thing that gives him a sense of escape and he starts a band with his friends, mostly performing for the array of tools in someone’s garage. But after playing a song at the school talent show, the get booked by one of their classmates to play at the old Huss School. Intrigued by what’s happening with the venue at the school, he starts showing up for weekly after-school planning meetings. As he gets to know the adult mentors who run the program, he begins to talk about how he’s not sure he’ll pass the year. He’s encouraged to start showing up for the after-school tutoring sessions that happen in the same building and matched up with a mentor who keeps up with his progress, including making sure he’s eating properly. By June, he’s brought his grades up to a passing level and, with the skills he’s learned by helping out with the music venue, his band goes on a mini-tour of ten Michigan towns. He even earns some studio time at the school by working shows and the band is able to sell 50 copies of their debut EP on the tour.
Sure, this is just a made-up story, but we don’t think it’s too far-fetched. Do you?