My favorite memories from high school are from my art class. It was the part of my day that allowed me to be creative and expressive, or quiet and thoughtful. Yet as much as I treasured that time, and my all-time favorite art teacher Mrs. Little, I suspect the students at Behailuh Academy benefit a lot more from the programs they attend today.
Behailu Academy offers free visual and performance arts-based out of school time programming for middle and high school students at some of Charlotte’s Title I schools. This isn’t just Mrs. Little handing out some colored pencils and acrylics and cheerfully telling us we were going to “design our way out of a paper bag.” Behailu Academy’s students take creative risks in a wide variety of classes like dance, music jam, guitar, acrylic and oil painting, 2-D animation, comedy improv, spoken word poetry, photography, music and video production, mixed media and up-cycled art.
Each trimester during the school year focuses on a unique theme, which allows students to engage in inquiry-based learning in the areas of arts and academics. Teens are encouraged to excel academically and are held accountable for their education. This year they’ve expanded their offerings to include “Beyond Behailu” classes that focus on preparing students for life after graduation by developing the skills necessary for college and careers.
Was art a big part of your life, or is it now? Interested in getting involved? Visit Behailuh's profile for more info.
This article originally appeared in the Charlotte Smarty Pants blog.