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NJCDC Saturday Youth Arts Program

NJCDC Saturday Youth Arts Program

April 7, 2023

Research has shown that learning about and experiencing the arts is essential to a well-rounded education. Arts education has been consistently linked to improved academic performance, more effective communication skills, and even higher SAT scores. Despite these facts, many schools do not offer dedicated arts education and opportunities in music leaving a gap in their curriculum that needs to be filled.

In 2014, NJCDC launched the Youth Arts Program to combat the lack of arts education in schools and provide free arts programming to the youth of Paterson. Since its creation, the program has held classes for hundreds of students in elementary, middle and high school offering a wide range of activities such as music, skateboard design, photography, guitar, piano, sketching, and more.

This year, on February 25, we kicked off our Saturday Youth Arts Program—a 12-week program offered to 45 Paterson students in Grades 1-5 at our Great Falls Youth Center. These budding artists and aspiring musicians come from other NJCDC programs and schools from all over Paterson like our Full Service Community School at School #5. During the Saturday program, students are exposed to Dance, Bucket Drumming, Arts Education and Arts & Crafts.

Our students have already participated in a variety of activities including but not limited to obstacle course challenges for Dance class, slime making for Art class, creation of a big shamrock puzzle for St. Patrick's Day, and so much more. This weekend they will have an Easter-themed group activity!

The Saturday Arts Program has truly become a creative outlet for students to de-stress, explore and gain artistic and musical skills through the love of Art and Music. Ashley Claudio, parent of Lylah Campbell said," My daughter comes home every Saturday saying, Mom you wouldn't believe what we did in the Art Program. It's so much fun!

Another parent, David Rivera said, "My son loves the Art program, he said he wouldn't miss a day!"

NJCDC Founder & CEO Bob Guarasci expressed, "We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to run the Saturday Youth Arts Program for our Paterson youth and engage them in hands-on activities outside regular school days. This curriculum is integral for healthy student development and positive adult outcomes and we at NJCDC will continue to help foster their creativity at this pivotal age!"

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