February 6, 2014

SYF on the Road: Seeing Orange in SoCal

In Westminster, CA at the heart of Orange County, the color orange is everywhere.  But at Simon Youth Academy at Westminster Mall, the Power of Orange is an unmistakable force in the classroom. 

Our academies span from coast to coast, and each one has a character as distinct as the city it calls home. In Westminster, that character is defined in large part by the artistic talents of students. From studio art to crafts for local charitable causes, teachers at Westminster have artfully incorporated their students’ interests into the academic setting in a way that enhances education. 

Student artwork lines the walls in a conventional display of incredible talent.  But art lives in an unexpected way too: nearly every student knits. Capitalizing on this passion for creating fashion, students have begun knitting colorful caps for cancer patients at a local hospital as an academy-wide service project.

Teachers and students alike at Westminster maintain a keen focus on academic achievement, but they share an understanding that that art can play an important role in education. Reading, writing, and solving mathematical equations can work in tandem with drawing, painting and playing a musical instrument as keys to unlocking opportunity.

About the Author

Eric Chamberlain is the SYF Major Gifts Officer, supporting the Foundation’s efforts in developing and executing external individual and corporate gifts. Hailing from Pennsylvania, Eric joined SYF in 2012. He has worked in the nonprofit sector with two membership associations and public broadcasting. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lycoming College. Reach Eric at echamberlain@simon.com or 317-263-7716.

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