The cost-free Growing Young Artists (GYA) program continues this summer at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.

While their parents are harvesting produce in West Michigan, migrant children in pre-K through 8th grade will have the opportunity to raise their voices and make their mark through this project-based learning program created by the SCA.

SCA's Executive Director Kristin Armstrong says the GYA uses creativity-infused project-based learning to deliver key life skills to approximately 150 "at risk" migrant students in Allegan and Van Buren Counties.

PBL delivers value around "hard skills" including language and literacy fluency, math and science, as well as critical "soft skills" such as problem solving, team building, communication skills and empathy.

By expanding experiences beyond traditional textbook learning with a professional artist and plunging students into experiential hands-on situations, students will develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career, and civic life.

This summer’s GYA program includes arts-infused field trips and the opportunity to work alongside the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Artist in Residence Rubén Aguirre. Aguirre, Chicago artist who focuses on public artwork, will teach the students about cultural connection, relationship building, empowerment, and celebrating their own stories.

Students will make their mark and leave a positive impact on Saugatuck by helping Aguirre create a public mural on the west wall of the Saugatuck Center for the Arts building. People can see the completed mural by mid-August.

For more information about GYA and other SCA outreach programming, visit or call (269) 857-2399.

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