John Oliver Killens Workshops are collaboration between local colleges and Bibb County public schools. These workshops improve 3rd to 5th graders reading comprehension and math skills in preparation for the CRCT.
When the economy took a nose dive back in 2008, businesses all over the nation felt the impact. One of the hardest hit areas were within the arts community. The Tubman African American Museum began noticing the number of schools and community groups booking tours were diminishing at a faster pace. In many surrounding counties, budgets had almost completely eliminated arts education and field trips, two key factors that affect both academic excellence and economic impact for many of our cultural institutions. In Bibb County alone, over 42.5 million dollars were cut in eight years.
For economically disadvantaged students, school is oftentimes the only realm in which they are likely to be exposed to art education and specifically, African American studies. Over 75% of Bibb County students fall into the low income category. The Tubman saw this not so much as a determent, but an opportunity to make a strong impact on the lives of these children, and put Macon on the map nationally. What we were able to uncover was what numerous studies have confirmed: arts education allows children to express themselves creatively, increases their self-confidence, and improves overall academic excellence.