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This fundraiser ended on 12/25/10

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Smarty Pants Are Leaders teaches leadership skills through Art and Gardening to children in under served urban environments ranging in age from 7-17 years. Our experiential curriculum empowers them to build a foundation to reach their dreams.


Smarty Pants Are Leaders' primary goal is to accomplish grade improvement and increase school attendance. We believe by setting these standards early, children will continue to have better attendance into middle school and high school ensuring more successful graduates from high school. With a strong foundation of leadership skills at an early age, we can contribute more significant young leaders to the world community tomorrow.
Curriculum Overview

Smarty Pants are Leaders believes that "thinking outside the box" isn't just a phrase - it's a way of life. We, therefore, offer a challenging but engaging interdisciplinary curriculum comprised of "Art Reflects Life" (artistic self-expression), "Kinder Gardens" (urban farming), the scientific study of Family History (Genealogy), Theatre Play, Poetry in Motion (body movement), and Quiet Time (expressive and reflective meditation). While most after-school programs present one subject, our multi-faceted approach keeps the students absorbed in our alternative art based programs. Motivating the mind, body, and spirit of each student, each child also learns a new set of soft skills (such as multi-tasking and accountability) that will, in turn, benefit their everyday life and future prospects:

Core Curriculum:

* "Art Reflects Life" enforces hand eye coordination, critical thinking skills and brain development
* "Kinder Gardens" and the study of urban farming incorporates natural and life sciences, and nutrition


The Illinois Educational Learning Standard have been applied to our curriculum. See website for more details!

Complementary Curriculum:

* Family History or "grass-roots genealogy" connects students personally with the landscape of American History
* Theater Play teaches communication skills, confidence, and conflict resolution
* "Poetry In Motion" helps to combat childhood obesity, and teaches the importance of self-responsibility and nurturing self-care
* Quiet Time, or Meditation, decreases school behavior violations, reduces criminal activity by quieting the mind and central nervous system, promotes emotional health & wellness
* Homework Time is a time for tutoring and the reiteration of the importance of academic achievement.

Curriculum Benefits:

We believe that once a person can find beauty in art imitating life (Art Reflects Life), develops a relationship to nature by getting their hands into the soil (Kinder Gardens), and eating the fruits of their labor, they will become confident leaders on every level and not follow the path of others. Furthermore, when a student knows a little about their family lineage (Family History), has a better understanding of body language (Poetry In Motion), knows how to enunciate and project when communicating (Theater Play), connects with their breath and with each other (Quiet Time) the possibilities for growth are endless. Other benefits include:

* Confidence and Sense of Identity - SPAL strives to show each student that they are much greater human beings than they may give themselves credit.
* Artistic Outlets and Exposure - Through these classes we will expose youth to new things they may develop new passions or skills. We will also discuss how they learn, feel, dislike or love each new experience.
* Personal Reflection and Insight - Every student gets a journal at the beginning of the program. Studies show that journaling improves everything from everyday mood to standardized test scores. This book is used by the students to track their feelings and experiences. It is for their eyes only and theirs to keep.
* Academic Improvement/Achievement - SPAL strives to increase academic attendance by adding value to their total day. Each subject presented ultimately intersects, which inherently teaches young people on a subtle level how to multi-task.

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