Summer Exposure To The Arts Enhances Literacy

tamra w girl readingShe didn’t know it, but this summer was going to be life changing for Tayla Scott.  A visiting Kuumba* teaching artist introduced Tayla to poetry and poetry resonated with her.  The artist noticed this and spent time encouraging Tayla’s interest in poetry.  Tayla began seeking poetry books and reading more.  Her confidence increased so much that Tayla asked to read a poem in front of her peers, parents, and teachers at the 2015 Backyard Adventures Talent Show.  Now Tayla always carries a poetry book or two with her.  At the end of the first quarter of this school year, Tayla,  with her parents and teachers, are celebrating that she is reading at a higher level this year than she has in the past.

Ms. Tamra Cherubin, RCN’s School Age Coordinator, credits outside mentors with having a powerful impact on the children.  “Kuumba artists are experienced teachers who expose children to something new- poetry, dance, storytelling- and bring it to life,” she said. “They tie the arts to literacy, citizenship, teamwork, and self-expression.”

Visiting artists in RCN’s summer Backyard Adventures program for school age children were made possible through a generous grant from the Glover-Crask Charitable Trust.  Quality programming at RCN goes above and beyond and has a lasting impact in the lives of children in our community like Tayla.

*Kuumba Consultants use the arts to build constructive behavior patterns for at-risk African-American youth who live in Rochester and provide a vehicle for African-American artists to serve as role models and mentors.