It is no secret that at-risk communities suffer from violence and poverty - and this largely impacts our youth. This violence goes beyond those directly involved in it, but it also impacts those that witness it. Child development experts agree that trauma from witnessing acts of violence can have large impacts on development and growth and in turn, increases the risk of the child to later engage in crime themselves.
How do we train our students in complex environments to continually hold a positive mindset? How do we instill as sense of perseverance that enables them to create goals that lead to life achievements? Through the practice of artistic expression, positive mindfulness and social emotional core competencies, our students develop life skills that empower them to handle obstacles and continue to move forward with the rest of their life.
Our 8-week program is designed to take students through a path of discovering different meanings of 'good' through journaling, drawing and painting their 'simple good.' This enables students to bring awareness of the everyday positivity that surrounds us. The program ends in a final showcase where each student presents to their community on their meaning of 'the simple good' and how they will use it to change the world.
Aaron is a 5th grader from Chicago’s South-side who comes from a single family home. He lacked self-confidence and quickly gave up on himself in school. He participated in TSG’s program and during the final showcase, explained how the program impacted him:
“It built my confidence up in things I thought I could never do. The Simple Good made me feel like the world believed in me which made me believe in myself.”
Presentations like Aaron’s bring the community together and the self-awareness is triggered at each showcase empowers a space of dialogue and hope.