Programs for Jersey City Kids
Since 1974, the Educational Arts Team has provided literacy, social emotional learning, drug prevention, and anti-bullying programs for low-income youth in various Jersey City schools and community settings.
Their mission is to engage young people with art based programs that connect creativity with critical thinking. This connection makes the learning experience more meaningful, which stimulates personal growth and academic achievement.
Fundamentally, the Educational Arts Team believes:
- All young people are capable of developing into creative, productive, and valued human beings comfortable and confident in both academic and social settings.
- All young people should have the opportunity to think, create, reflect, and be listened within a community of engaged learners.
Educational Arts Team delivers their programs and services through the two branches of their organization, Dramatic Impact, and Camp Liberty. Dramatic Impact is their in-school literacy program, helping economically disadvantaged young people become better readers and writers.
During the summer months, Camp Liberty focuses on improving literacy for low-income urban students in low performing schools by providing positive cultural, social and recreational experiences in an outdoor setting. Camp Liberty is held at Liberty State Park, and includes an in-ground swimming pool, softball field, multi-purpose field, handball courts, playground, restrooms, changing areas, covered pavilion and stage.
HealthierJC + Educational Arts Team
The Educational Arts Team program closely aligns with the HealthierJC mission to expand access to quality education, promote fellowship, and build future community leaders. In awarding the mini-grant, HealthierJC acknowledged the 48-year contribution of Educational Arts Team in advancing a Culture of Health in Jersey City.
Educational Arts Team believes that a Culture of Health evolves when speaking and listening are fundamental to a child’s development. These basic skills are the foundation for learning, play, social interaction, and ultimately future success. Unfortunately, many young people, especially those from low-income families, bring a limited vocabulary to school. Educational Arts Team is dedicated to building a nurturing culture that combats this trend.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Educational Arts Team was given a HealthierJC Mini Grant extension by the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services. This funding enabled them to continue delivery of free, quality programs to low-income youth in Jersey City Public Schools. Educational Arts Team successfully completed 25 virtual violence prevention and peer safety workshops in the Jersey City Public Schools at no cost.
During the pandemic, nearly 550 students and their teachers attended and benefited from the workshops. Workshops were conducted by artists with over 10 years of experience of facilitating workshops leveraging the arts in their teaching approach. At times, theater improvisation techniques were used to explore conflict resolution amongst peers, emotional regulation, and problem-solving strategies.
Based on teacher testimonials that assess how these workshops helped their students, Educational Arts Team workshops are impactful and contribute to better outcomes in the Jersey City community.
“This lesson gave my students the opportunity to explore social emotional issues. My students explored ways to express their feelings and communicate if someone is bullying them. The students understood that it is never okay to bully someone. If someone is bullying them, they should tell the bully how they feel and let an adult know”. -4th Grade Teacher from PS 5.
“This lesson gave my students the opportunity to explore social emotional issues. Bullying is a constant threat to many of our children, even online. The read aloud, role-playing, and the pauses allowed students to intake the information and see what was or was not appropriate. This also allowed them to see if they personally have any of these negative traits so they can work on them, too”. -3rd Grade Teacher from PS 5.
For more information about Educational Arts Team, please visit the organization’s website at https://www.educationalartsteam.org/ or call their local number at (201) 432-1912