GREEN STAR MOVEMENT CONNECTS YOUTH TO THEIR SCHOOLS AND NEIGHBORHOODS, AND PEOPLE TO EACH OTHER, WHILE REVITALIZING UNDER-SERVED COMMUNITIES.
WE DO THIS BY INSPIRING STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO DESIGN AND REALIZE PUBLIC ART.
While our program allows participants the wonderful opportunities to be creative, to explore new artistic techniques, and to develop a passion and language for the arts, all while creating an enduring piece of art, it is also an incredible way for them to connect to each other and their school and neighborhood communities.
Research indicates that when youth feel connected to schools, peers, and communities, their grades improve, they stay in school longer, they are more likely to contribute to their communities, and they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drinking, substance abuse, early sexual behavior, or gang involvement.
"School connectedness has been shown to protect youth from engaging in risky behaviors. Across all racial, ethnic and income groups, evidence is mounting that students who feel more connected to school are less likely to exhibit disruptive and violent behavior, carry or use a weapon, experiment with illegal substances, or smoke cigarettes."
- School Connectedness: Improving Students' Lives
We at Green Star Movement know that evaluation of our impact is critical to understanding the positive difference our program has on our participants and to making informed decisions about our programming. For that reason, we invested resources into developing a new way to quantify our impact.
We are currently piloting a set of surveys designed to measure the percentage of youth participants who report feeling more connected to their teachers and/or schools, to each other, and to their neighborhoods as a result of their participation with Green Star Movement. We anticipate that a significant percentage of the youth with whom we work will experience the long-term effects of better connectedness - they'll do better in school, contribute to their communities, and make strong choices in support of lifelong success. The results of these surveys will enable us to gauge the effect of our program on students, and it will better convey our successes - or opportunities for improvement - to our friends and supporters.
I joined this program because I wanted to express my love for art. I may not be a good artist, but I love to be surrounded by art. I also joined this program because I don't do anything art related in school, so I was thinking I could use this opportunity. I was not very sure if I was going to meet people who would want to work with an untalented art boy. I found out it was the opposite. The instructors were very nice to us. They worked with us all the time, corrected us, motivated us to finish our work. It was in this program that I met my friends, my true friends. I would like to thank Green Star for bringing happiness to my life.
— Mark Korankye, teen participant
I really loved waking up every day and going to work at a place where I could collaborate with other people and be social while still being productive...I love the team-oriented and collaborative nature of the project, and the process of taking little pieces of tile and bringing them together to form a masterpiece. It feels so wonderful to be able to leave behind a lasting piece of art that breathes so much life into the space around it.
— Antonia, Green Star Movement intern
The teaching artists of Green Star went the extra mile to meet with key parents, teachers, and students, listen to everyone's ideas, and draft as many sketches as we needed to arrive on a final design that truly honors the story of our school.
— Administrator, Scott Joplin Elementary