TRACK Pilots Training Model at Walker
TRACK has served over 300 kids at 7 diverse sites in less than a year. One of those sites, Walker, is a nationally accredited, non-profit organization that provides a range of services to 3 to 22-year-old emotionally, behaviorally, and learning disabled students and their families. TRACK has been running successful Thursday workshops at the Walker School since January 2012. After just one month, the Agency’s Associate Executive Director, Fran Rosenberg, had this to say:
“We have been extremely fortunate to get to know Jenna Alderton of TRACK: Traveling Art Cards for Kids. Jenna has conducted several art card workshops with our students, guiding them through the process of designing trading card-size works of art, which they can keep, share, or trade. The children have responded extremely positively to this activity, and we are working with Jenna to arrange for this collaboration to continue into the spring!”
And so we did. As the snow melted, buzz about TRACK swept across campus. Kids and adults were excited, engaged and invested. The Walker community developed a deeper appreciation for the tangible outcomes and broader implications of the Art Card experience and wanted to “sink their teeth in.” What was coming to fruition at Walker exemplified and reinforced TRACK’s mission; kids were building self-esteem, learning pro-social skills, exploring creative expression and having fun.
In order to capitalize on this momentum, I jumped at the opportunity to pitch a larger, long-term vision for integrating the TRACK package into Walker’s curriculum and culture. For such a venture, it made sense to pilot a professional development model that would train and empower members of the Walker community to facilitate their own Art Card workshops. Much to my excitement, the proposal I submitted was approved and supported. A talented team of four Walker staff enthusiastically agreed to become workshop facilitators and participated in a series of trainings that involved observing, facilitating, reflecting and planning. I’m proud to announce that the powerhouse team is very organized and moving forward full steam. I’ll provide ongoing support, consultation and continue to return as a visiting artist. Collectively, we are working hard and big plans are underway for the fall. Stay tuned for updates!
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