Young Rembrandts: Local Art Program ' Shapes' Children's Right, Left Brain Activities

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Enhancing Children's Art Education in Northwest Florida

Realizing a "picture perfect" opportunity to make a difference in the community, local en tre preneur and artist Maria Dante is enriching children's lives through art education in Crestview, Niceville, Valparaiso, Mary Esther, Florosa, and Pensacola - one color and shape at a time. Maria Dante is one of 80 entrepreneurs throughout the United States and Canada currently affiliated with Young Rembrandts, part of an inter national franchise whose proven curriculum is based on enhancing overall academic success through the teaching of art skills .
"With Young Rembrandts, children learn how to better observe and experience an increasingly visual world, build confidence and self - esteem, solve problems and set and achieve goals," Maria Dante said. "It also helps children develop fine motor skills and attention to detail. Documented evidence shows a direct correlation between art and increased academic performance."
Currently, Young Rembrandts has a presence in Okaloosa schools and Maria Dante is setting her sights on further enhancing children's art education by expanding the program into additional schools and park districts in the Northwest Florida region.
Young Rembrandts focuses on pre - school and elementary school - aged children. The elementary program is traditionally offered immediately after school at local schools and park districts. The Young Rembrandts after - school curriculum is designed to complement classroom art activities . For example, just as the skills taught in a school music program further develop when a child enrolls in piano classes, the lessons learned through the classroom art curriculum are enhanced by Young Rembrandts' specific drawing methods .
"My daughter truly enjoys the step - by - step instruction designed to teach each lesson. The class is well organized and the instructor keeps the environment positive and fun. Our daughter shares great pride in her drawings and looks forward to class every week. We could not be happier with the program and look forward to continuing her classes with Young Rembrandts." - Christina Burch , Parent. " Extensive research shows that in order to maximize learning, children need to participate in programs that engage both the left and right hemispheres of t he brain," said Maria Dante , noting that the left brain hemisphere is responsible for analytical and thought, while the right brain controls visual and perceptual tasks essential to creative processes.
"Young Rembrandts' step - by - step drawing method takes the right - brained, non - verbal activity of drawing and breaks it down into a left - brained, verbal explanation of shape, relation, and order sequencing," said Ms. Dante "That way, every child, regardless of natural artistic talent (right brain dominance), can experience the pride and satisfaction that comes from creating artwork."
Unfortunately, in many school districts around the country funding shortages have affected the availability of visual arts programs . In these situations, after - school programs such as Young Rembrandts can be an excellent solution to helping children to develop core competency skills in the arts.
Area parents can choose to enroll their children in four different Young Rembrandts' programs: a Pre - School Curriculum (ages 3 1/2 to 5) designed to develop motor skills, patience and focus; an Elementary Curriculum , (ages 6 to 12) focusing on art history and drawing techniques ; a Cartoon Curriculum ; and Themed Drawing Camps which allow students to choose subjects they enjoy most. Classes are held weekly for an entire semester during the school year for pre - school and elementary students, and once a week for each seasonal session in park districts. Classes are designed to maximize the learning environment for the various abilities and age groups participating in the Young Rembrandts program.

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