Friends like YOU are vital to our mission: providing 175 low-income students with a year-round program of tuition-free bilingual arts workshops, internships and support services.
Many of our students are overcoming huge obstacles including domestic violence, poverty and recent immigration. At WC we prepare students for life, college and careers by giving them the tools and training necessary to create change in their own lives and communities. 95% of our students graduate from high school and 70% attend college.
I know, first hand, the power of WC’s rigorous programs because I am an alumni myself. As a teen, WC allowed me to build the skills, networks and resume necessary to attend a competitive college and earn generous scholarships. With our dedicated staff and committed board, I am now honored to nurture the next generation of WC kids as they become brilliant, creative, compassionate and engaged adults.
Every afternoon our youth art center is buzzing with dozens of young artists, actors and future leaders who strengthen their voices, flex their artistic abilities and achieve success far beyond what they might have imagined.
Students achieve extraordinary things when they have support.
Katia, a 19-year old freshman attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on a WC scholarship, writes,
“I could not feel more blessed for the opportunities and experiences that Working Classroom has given me…I am able to attend my dream school, something I never anticipated because I come from a low-income family of immigrants. I will be the first in my family to graduate from college.”
In a recent interview on NPR, Senator Tom Harkin stated that low-income, high-performing students have a 20% chance of attending college, compared to 80% of their high-income, low-achieving peers. Katia is just one of many WC kids who has achieved extraordinary educational, artistic and social accomplishments. WC strives for all of our high-performing, low-income kids to enroll in college.
Art impacts student achievement.
Kaly, an 18-year old Native American high school junior, attended WC and took full-advantage of our art, theater and tutoring programs. Because of her hard work, and the guidance of our staff, she brought her failing grades up to A’s and B’s and, for the first time in many years, did not have to attend summer school.
Art reengages students with their academics. Americans for the Arts recently found that low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts have a 4% dropout rate and are twice as likely to attend college as compared to their peers with a low participation in the arts who have a 22% dropout rate. Low-income families often lack access to meaningful art experiences and rigorous educational enrichment opportunities. These experiences are essential for preparing our kids for college and increasing social mobility.
Art gives students a voice.
Twelve-year old intro student, Annalysa, says, “A challenge was when I had to use my voice. It was hard because I was shy — but I gained trust with it.” Beyond artistic skills, every student builds a foundation of self-confidence, voice and trust during their first six-weeks of participation. WC students become active citizens in our city, raise healthy families and contribute to their communities in a positive way.
The life skills learned at WC follow our students beyond the studio, rehearsal space and classroom and into their everyday lives. Our students not only meet the benchmarks necessary for success but tackle social injustices through the creation of content-based art.
Your gift allows students to receive free, year-round, bilingual artistic training, academic tutoring, paid internships, college prep programming and opportunities to collaborate with prominent national artists to create art and theater that address social change.
Thank you for supporting Working Classroom.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, please contact Working Classroom at 505.242.9267.