In 2005, Sir Ken Robinson, then Chair of the British government’s Report on Creativity, Education, and the Economy, publicized research that showed that young people lose their ability to think in “divergent or non-linear ways” with age. In the study, 98% of children ages three to five showed they could think in divergent ways. By ages eight to ten, 32% could think divergently; and only 10% of thirteen- to fifteen-year-olds could think in this way.

Programs that promote self-awareness as part of social-emotional learning (SEL) have been shown to reduce emotional distress and discipline problems in elementary-school children. For educational communities, the cost is a loss of intellectual vitality.

The Children’s Arts Guild, inspired by Frederick Douglass’ dictum that “it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken [people],” helps children transcend limiting expectations and explore and develop their authentic selves through creativity education.

The Guild’s programs focus on helping children in primary and secondary school sustain and cultivate their connection to creativity and learn to use it as a tool of self-awareness. We emphasize process over product, encouraging the development of a creative approach to life as a whole.

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