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Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head STEM

The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head, South Carolina is developing an immersive educational program in the arts for the more than 700 children served by the Club. The program will feature classes by local artists, trips to museums and performances, and more.

The Boys & Girls Club at Hilton Head is proud to roll out a new summer program that features virtual reality. Because today’s technology impacts daily life—including career paths—it’s important for kids to have access to emerging technologies so they can grow comfortable with it. This program makes it possible for the children to collaborate with peers around the world to explore their interests in science, technology, art, or math by using VR equipment. The goal is to bridge the gap for children who don’t have technology in their home and level the playing field for them later in life.

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Who Did the Grant Help?

The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island continues to grow its programming through its second First Nonprofit Fine Arts Grant received in 2016. With the additional funds, we have expanded the program to encompass most of the educational areas of the club, the major emphasis on connections with STEM programs, now called STEAM education, with arts-infused curricula adding the element of critical thinking to FUN activities. The importance of critical thinking is now a strong element in elementary and middle school studies, emphasizing the why’s and how’s instead of just correct answers on batteries of tests.  In our concentration on academic support for all our members, we are incorporating our “outside the box” arts programming to help those who are academically challenged learn in new ways.

What Problem Did the Grant Solve?

We were able to use the Stem Infused Art for 9 programs.

  • Newly established Ceramics Program
  • Designed and Built an Interactive play wall for our Jr. Game Room to enhance STEM based learning
  • Establishing a “Maker Space” in the Learning Center
  • STEAM based Arts Projects continued in the 2016/17 After-School Program
  • STEM Learning as a focus in our Technology program
  • Around the World Arts, Fine Art program summer 2017
  • Teens Travel to Arts Event
  • Performing Arts Program
  • Photography Program through School Year and into Summer 2017
What Was the Impact of the Grant?

We are also using our arts areas to connect their relevance at vocational possibilities. Field trips and specialized projects have looked at careers that blend arts and work.  Our relationship with faculty and students from Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD) has continued to play a role in this area.

We haven’t forgotten the “art for art’s sake” factor. Pottery classes (in itself a form of science, and an original industry in America) have been ongoing the past year, with fascinating results. Our members also enjoyed a special fieldtrip to Lake city, SC with local professional artist Amiri Farris to see his work exhibited publically and purchased. This gave them a true understanding of how art can become a career.