P.O. Box 526 | Harleysville, PA 19438
© 2013 ARTFORJUSTICE.ORG
Our Road Map for Life Workshop©
An innovative, effective Program that helps youth learn to make choices that will lead to success.
Youth Served by the Workshops are those who have been adjudicated delinquent, have involvement with the Department of Human Services, a parent in prison, or live in high risk neighborhoods.
Workshop Description: Road Map for Life Workshops are a series of ten sessions that help high risk youth identify their strengths, understand the legal consequences of high risk behaviors, and learn to make choices that lead to constructive lifestyles. The Workshops combine a life skills program that targets improved social cognitive skills with an art program that personalizes and intensifies the learning. Each session identifies and challenges belief systems that lead to destructive behaviors and explores choices that build on individual strengths and lead to constructive behaviors.
Objectives: Learning outcomes for participants include:
• Improve self awareness and social cognitive skills
• Identify personal strengths and strategies to build competencies
• Identify responsibilities to family, friends and community
• Improve communication and decision making skills
• Establish and engage in learning and educational goals
• Establish and engage in employment goals
• Reduce harmful and criminal behaviors
Workshop Process: The Road Map for Life Workshops use an innovative, narrative approach that presents the original art and statements of Charles Lawson, an offender whose experiences serve as an instructive, cautionary tale for the youth. In each session the participants engage in a dialogue about the critical issues they face in their day to day lives. Detailed question-response forms challenge the youth to apply the concepts and skills presented in the session to their own lives. The youth then complete an artistic response (visual, poetic, or narrative) that personalizes and intensifies the learning. The final session of the Workshops is an exhibit where the youth are recognized for their accomplishments and successes in the Program.
Youth Workbooks: The youths’ works are compiled and bound into books that are presented to them during the Final Session. These books include all Workshop materials as well as the youths’ written and artistic responses for each session.
Workshop Evaluation: The Evaluative Tool determines the effectiveness of the Workshops’ engaging the youth in the learning process. The youths’ work is reviewed and evaluated in after each session on three criteria: participation in the dialog, active listening, and completion of narrative and artistic responses. Full evaluations have been completed on 77 youth showing that 60 scored in the high range, 16 scored above average, and 1 youth scored slightly below average.
Participant Quotes: Excerpts from some of the youth who have participated in the Workshops:
… I love this Program that is changing people’s lives because it tells the truth about life.
It teaches us to believe in ourselves and build on our inner strengths.
... this Workshop has been a life changing experience for me.
... keep going to placements like this to reach more kids.
… do this all over the world so other kids can learn what I’ve learned.
… if I get to 21, I want to participate in the Road Map for Life Workshops.
… my choice is to learn to deal with my anger.
… I made a decision to stay away from guns.
… I am motivated to try again to make it when I go home.
Art for Justice is seeking resources to make it possible to present the Workshops during the summer of 2014 at the Montgomery County Youth Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
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