The curriculum for the SAFE through the Arts program is based the three key components of the program: Self- Affirmation (building self-esteem); Financial literacy (awareness of self-worth and value); and Education of non-violence (learning to get along and cooperate with others). Students engage in hands-on arts-based activities, which are developmentally appropriate for PreK and kindergarten students including drawing, singing, drumming, dance and dramatic role play. Weekly writing exercises in the specially designed SAFE through the arts student handbooks are integrated into the program. In addition, puppet shows aimed at teaching lessons related to the key components are an integral part of the program. Furthermore, the sixteen characters of the SAFE through the arts program specifically reflect the diverse populations within the public schools of New York City and New York State’s Capital Region.
The lessons, which are reinforced through the SAFE through the arts seven-week program are as follows:
- It’s super to be me!
- I use my Happy Hands and Friendly Feet
- It’s okay to be different
- I can be anything I want to be
- I have value
- I can use my kind and polite words
- I can STOP and count to ten
- We all can learn how to get along with others
Students learn specific tools to help them learn how to empower themselves, build self-esteem and appropriately express and manage their emotions. By the end of the seven-week program, even Bully Bear learns how to respect himself and be kind to others! In addition, Core curriculum indicators and NYS learning standards and are integrated into the daily lessons. A handbook filled with activities related to the program supplements the weekly classes and a CD of songs accompany the program reinforcing the important lessons of SAFE through the arts.