The Fine Art of Helping At-Risk Kids

Published: November 28, 2005
by: Letitia Star

Chalk Festival fundraiser

Darius* was one angry boy. Before the Art Therapy Connection, the troubled nine-year-old hardly spoke, but regularly communicated his bottled-up rage by throwing chairs at anyone in his path. He was failing math and unable to read at his grade level.

But about seven months after starting a unique art therapy program in the Chicago Public Schools, Darius was able to proudly show his art therapist his report card with Bs and Cs. The Art Therapy Connection helps children and teens in danger of failing or dropping out of school by encouraging them to create art and safely communicate their thoughts and feelings. By using art therapy as a means of self-expression and self-discovery, students can have a more successful school year. The Art Therapy Connection works to increase concentration levels, self-esteem and self-control, as well as enhance interpersonal skills and defuse angry feelings. Continued..

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