The FLOW (Fluent Love of Words) classes enhance social-emotional development by encouraging self-expression via creative writing and student presentations in a peer group setting. At the end of every class, students explain how empowering it is to share their poems, writings and music without fear of failure or judgment. This increases self-confidence and enables students to know themselves as thinkers, communicators, creators and instruments of positive change both in their own lives and the lives of their peers.
F.L.O.W. uses a project based learning curriculum that teaches students about the structure of poetry and then guides them to tell their own stories through poetry pieces. Then they create musical “beats” and then record their poetry to the beats. Once the music is recorded, students learn how to edit and engineer their own CD. Each module concludes with a showcase where students share their work in a public group of peers and facility staff. The Class promotes literacy and enhances writing skills through English writing, reading comprehension, and critical thinking instruction based on the California Language Arts Standards of education.
F.L.O.W. uses poetic expression to instill a sense of self-confidence and empowerment in youth by teaching them to think outside of their comfort space and current predicament and inspiring them to make positive choices in their everyday lives. In this class, students study the structure of poetry and begin to open up and tell their own stories through their projects.
The F.L.O.W. class concludes with a showcase project culmination where students perform their work in a public group of peers and facility staff. This supports the T.I.P. (Thematic Interdisciplinary Project Based curriculum) that is being implemented at Santa Monica Mountains PAU.
F.L.O.W. is designated as an “Embedded Instructional Community Partnership” as written into the Road to Success Academies Grant Program. Download the New Earth R.T.S.A Presentation to learn about how the partnership works.
The F.L.O.W program fosters communication, creativity and confidence to unprecedented levels and builds individual self-respect. The students are encouraged to adapt a means of personal expression that has become stagnant in everyday life. Participants report that the channeling of emotion in a creative framework is a great release that leaves a “natural high” that instills a desire to achieve again and again.
According to the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, allowing youth to use their creative talents and expression helps them develop a sense of identity, independence, discipline, and self-worth. Students who participate in the arts are significantly less likely than non-participants to drop out of school, be arrested, use drugs, or engage in binge drinking.
New Earth conducted an intensive evaluation with support from SSG Research and Evaluation (Special Service for Groups). F.L.OW students from Camp Gonzales, Camp Miller, Camp Kilpatrick, Pacific Lodge Boys Home, Camp Jarvis, Camp McNair and Camp Onizuka were given a baseline survey when they began the FLOW program to measure areas of social emotional development. The same students were then given a follow up survey 14 weeks into the program to measure improvement/change. GPAs of these students were collected prior to the program and 14 weeks into the program.