Youth Development Through Art

Most people in the United States will be a YMCA member or program participant at some point in their life, but it all has to start with a first time. For some, it may be through a sport or childcare. Others drop in after school, learn to swim, or have a field trip from their school to the YMCA. In Monett, we also have some unique opportunities such as roller skating, disc golf and a high ropes course. Through these opportunities, we build character, offer role models, and teach new skills. Youth Development is a very important part of the Monett Area YMCA and the Arts and Humanities are an important way in which we accomplish this.

Arts and Humanities have been a part of the Monett YMCA since near its beginning in 2004. They were started by Corey Johnson, due to his passion for art. Like many YMCA programs, he found local individuals who have a skill that they are able to share with others. Many times, our programs have been determined by the talents we have access to. Over the years, these have included everything from: music lessons, sculpting, drawing, wood working, painting, dance (tap, ballet, hip hop, clogging, cheer), and even experiential science lessons. We also offer the arts through our child care programs. The most common way we have started a new class is by individuals that have come to us with an idea.

Lifelong learning, and dreams of what we can become, come to us through unique opportunities and beginning experiences that are positive and fun. Almost all people will tell you that they had some experience or someone who influenced who they are. I have asked hundreds of people in interviews who their role models are and it almost always is somebody they have known close (many times mom or dad) and learned from. It is important that we provide these opportunities in our community to help youth develop into their potential and Arts and Humanities is a great way to do it.

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