Author: Kristen Dahl

Why Art? Enrichment…by Joe Szafarowicz

Why Art?  Enrichment

The Enrichment Program in Toledo, Ohio is collaboration between the Juvenile Court and the Toledo Museum of Art. This unique partnership provides opportunities for youth under the care of the court by providing scholarships to art classes, assisting with enrollment in Saturday morning classes, arranging special interest classes for youth in court programs, scheduling ArtReach programs and by assisting with transportation costs.

On July 15, a young man from the Toledo Probation program participated in the first Enrichment Program activity, titled ArtReach. The lesson consisted of a visit to the galleries followed by an art experience in the classroom. Toledo Art Museum programs are designed to include a visit to the collection which is accompanied by hands on activity. This format brings a special focus to the museum’s pride and joy, the collection, and has the added benefit of introducing students to the great art in one of the finest museums in the world. Tours of the collection supplemented by a lesson focusing on the collection make for a powerful experience.

Upon returning from the gallery visit our young artist sat at the table eager to begin the lesson. His enthusiasm was obvious and his eagerness to get involved infected others in the room. He worked on his little project, never taking a break. During the class the teacher commented on how insightful his observations and questions were in the galleries during the tour. She was very impressed and made sure he and everyone in the room heard. She repeated her compliments throughout the lesson.

As the lesson neared completion and the young artist was putting the finishing touches on his piece the teacher made a special effort to ask him if he would like to return in Aug. for another class. Without hesitation he said yes and agreed to return.

His enthusiasm, dedication and deep involvement while doing the lesson and insightful comments during the gallery tour showed everyone in the room that he enjoyed the project and deserved more. More came in an offer of a scholarship to an upcoming class in the fall. When he was informed of the scholarship offer he was thrilled.

On Aug. 12 and 14 the Enrichment program, in coordination with the Toledo Museum of Art, will conduct a glassblowing workshop for youth in Foster Care. The young men and women will participate in a glass blowing activity at the museum’s Glass Pavilion during which they will make glass bowls and paper weights. The workshop will consist of a three hour activity each of the two days.

Our young artist, because he was so enthusiastic in the ArtReach activity, was offered a place in the Pavilion glassblowing workshop. When asked if he would like to join the group he accepted and once again couldn’t believe his good fortune.

It was a quite a day for one young man. What started out as an art class ended up as a morning full of accomplishments, positive reinforcement, praise, validation, involvement and exposure to people, places and activities that he will remember for a very long time, perhaps forever. The impact the experience had on him was evident; his demeanor changed, he smiled constantly, was happy, full of energy and very pleased with his artwork. Given his history it’s a safe bet that he hasn’t experienced a day like this recently.

The experience, and all it had to offer was a total surprise for this new artist. The activity, tour of the majestic galleries, success in the classroom and praise from the instructor all made for a special day.

His life was enriched on many levels.


Why Art? Art Anatomy and Science…by Joe Szafarowicz

Youth in detention enjoy art class. Regardless of the planned activity they put in a good effort and are cooperative and conscientious about their work. Some may start slower than most but eventually they buy in and join in the fun. A common request from many of the youth in detention, either at the Juvenile Detention Center or the Youth Treatment Center in Toledo, Ohio, is a desire to learn the basics of drawing. They want to learn how to draw; they want to learn about perspective, shading and composition.

The Discovery Art Program is giving the boys in the summer session at the Youth Treatment Center a chance to improve upon the basic fundamentals of drawing. The instructor, Jan Revill, has designed a class that will provide the boys with lessons that will challenge them and provide them with opportunities to learn about the fundamentals that they so eagerly want to learn about.

The Discovery Art Program, in addition to providing art instruction in a classroom setting, also takes the group into the community to meet artists, professionals in art related endeavors, and tour businesses that have an art component as their base. Youth in the summer session at the YTC will tour a business/educational facility on June 25, at the University of Toledo.

The young men will tour the UT-Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center (IISC) at the U. of Toledo. The IISC was developed to improve the quality of patient care by training health care professionals using simulation models, simulated clinical settings and 3D Virtual Immersive Environments. In addition to training healthcare professionals the IISC partners with industry to create new products and procedures that improve upon patient care.

The 3D imagery capabilities and virtual spaces allows doctors and students to learn about the body, surgical procedures and techniques by creating 3D holographic like imaging that puts doctors, teachers and learners in the body to create a visual learning experience that will position the University of Toledo as a world leader in the education of health care professionals.

A major component of this incredible visual learning experience is art. Anatomical artists provide the graphics in text books and journals for doctors, nurses, paramedics and health care professionals to study. The IISC has taken the next step in the education of medical personnel by creating a teaching environment that is a blend of art and high tech cutting edge computer graphics, programming and design.

The young men from the Toledo YTC will hear directly from the artists who create the breathtaking imagery how art contributes to the programming to enhance learning in many related medical fields.

They will not only learn about perspective, shading, composition and design; they will learn about many more advanced art techniques that are applied in the creation of one of the most advanced teaching programs in the world.

While touring and learning about the role that art plays in the development of the complex programs at the IISC the young men will learn about the many different careers that the medical center provides programs for. They will learn about pharmacists, EMTs, paramedics, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, doctors and scientists from many diverse professions. In addition they will learn firsthand how the university is developing partnerships with industry to design new products and procedures.

From classroom lessons focusing on perspective, shading and composition to the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center at the University of Toledo six young men will learn a lot about art, related professions and experience a tour that will they will never, ever forget.


Best Practices in Learning and Performance Improvement

Free Online Training Assessment Tool

The purpose of this instrument is to provide an online assessment tool and resource guide to improve the quality of learning and performance in the juvenile justice field. Research tells us that in juvenile justice, staff perception of the amount and quality of training they receive is closely related to their levels of engagement (Spriggs, 2014).

Whether you are the director of a group home with eight employees, a human resource director who is also responsible for the learning function, a team leader charged with evaluating and making recommendations for the organization’s learning function, or a learning administrator responsible for a learning unit and hundreds or thousands of organizational employees, this assessment and resource guide can help you:

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  • Establish a network of support
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To obtain access to this tool, please request an invitation by emailing

Why Art? Blog XIII…by Joe Szafarowicz


Art programming has a lot to offer. Youth in Custody at the Youth Treatment Center and the Juvenile Detention Center in Toledo, Ohio met with the following artists as part of the art programming enrichment activities scheduled through the Art Integrated Math Program:

  1. Julie Webster, ceramic artist, business owner, instructor
  2. Tom Lingamen, sculptor, university professor, artist
  3. Robert Garcia, teacher, artist, painter and sculptor
  4. Michelle Carlson, artist, printmaker, art commission board member, university instructor
  5. Aaron Bivins, watercolor artist, instructor
  6. Alex Debuekellear, artist, exhibit designer,
  7. Jennifer Bandeen artist, instructor, Toledo Museum of Art Gallery Manger, Outreach Program Manager

In addition to meeting the artists and working with them on various art activities our young people visited and toured the following:

  1. Toledo Museum of Art Sculpture Lab
  2. Toledo Museum of Art Sculpture Garden
  3. Art Supply Depo, retail art supply store and teaching facility
  4. Fifth Third Bank Gallery
  5. Roots of Diversity Exhibition
  6. Toledo Zoo Graphics Arts Department

While touring and visiting with artist and professionals youth in the Discovery Art Program learned about:

  1. Sculpting, weight, balance, volume
  2. Painting, color theory, heat, evaporation, composition
  3. Printmaking, measurement, pricing, proportion, sales
  4. Math, science, history, habitat, environment
  5. Reptiles, evolution, extinction, animal care, medication, diet and biology
  6. Job requirements, careers, education, schools, degrees, majors, finance

Art programming can be more than learning how to paint, draw, master perspective or shading. Art programming can expand horizons, introduce youth to talented role models, new techniques, gain access to fascinating businesses, and through all of that ground academics to real world applications.

Soon a unique collaboration between the Toledo Museum of Art and the Juvenile Detention Center will take art programming to new heights. Through the establishment of the Art Integrated Math Enrichment Program youth under the care of the court will take classes at the museum, meet artists, tour and experience everything that one of the greatest museums in the world can offer.