Summer program utilizes arts to teach children teamwork and leadership skills

Children ages six through thirteen sang and danced to guitar and drums in the YMCA family center as they concluded their last day of a special, week-long summer program.  Organized and led by musician Paddy Dougherty Braunstein and her daughter, artist Megan Davies, this program helped to teach community children from Altavista and Gretna teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and sharing skills through the arts.

Paddy is a songwriter and singer who uses her musical gifts in teaching at schools.  She has organized and led these special summer programs in years past and hopes to continue leading them in other towns.  This year, she collaborated with her daughter, local artist Megan Davies.  This arts program hosted at the Altavista YMCA Family Center utilized many forms of art, including music, painting, crafts, and drawing.

Using cardboard boxes and imagination, program participants created “Our Town.”  In teams, they created makeshift businesses such as Joe Beans; Scoops ice cream; a drink stand advertising water, lemonade, and juice; a zoo; and other attractions.  With seven total groups having to share resources, Paddy explains that this project helped teach the kids how to problem solve, share with one another, and work as a team to make their visions come true – all while tapping into their creative, artistic side. 


For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.