Middle Schoolers Begin to See Themselves as Changemakers

Allison Havens June 28th, 2011

As ArtCorps Artist Allison Havens entered her first workshop with Honduran middle schoolers, she wasn’t quite sure what to expect from such a young age group.

I wondered, “Would the activities be too hard, boring, too long for middle school students?” But after the first icebreaker flopped (lining up in order of birth dates), we persevered to end up having a great workshop together!

We discussed what art is, who is an artist and who can be one, and determined that we are each artists in our own unique ways. We proceeded with group map drawings of their community–listing the things they liked about their communities (such as the soccer fields, the school, church, the friendly people) and what they’d like to change or improve in their community (such as the violence and alcohol abuse). We took turns sharing, listening and applauding.

The children began learning how to work in groups and how to be inclusive of everyone’s participation. And they began developing the confidence to create and share with one another. These are some of the foundational lessons as the students begin to view themselves as active members of their communities and participants of change in Tripoli, Atlantida!

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