"Words can inspire us to think, to question, and to be the change." - Muskan, a Slam Out Loud student
There is growing global evidence that arts-based learning allows children to build the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills they need to thrive. According to the Kennedy Centre, children who received art education showed increased confidence, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. The National Endowment for the Arts observed that students partaking in arts courses had higher grades and were 5 times more likely to graduate than their peers.
Yet, over 131 million children in India are unable to build the SEL skills they need to thrive. Art education remains nationally deprioritized: students in government schools receive less than 20 hours of art education in a year. There is a stark ratio of 1 art teacher to every 1,400 students. We are not only failing to prepare our children for the future of work; we are also disempowering them from realizing their full potential.
Slam Out Loud (SOL) runs online and offline programs that use the transformative power of the visual and performing arts to help children from under-resourced communities build Creative Confidence (the skills of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Empathy and Self-Esteem) and learn about gender equity and climate action through art.
Our in-person programs have impacted 70,000+ children across 12 states in India, and our open-source resources have reached 4.7 million children across 19 countries.
75% of the children involved in our annual high-touch fellowship program move up at least 1 level in our Creative Confidence rubric (our Creative Confidence rubric defines proficiency levels in 6 SEL skills and measures the ways in which a child’s ability is displayed across a 5-point grading scale).
Children who engaged in our programs have gone on to perform to cumulative audiences of 65,000+ at various national and international platforms such as TEDx talks, HundrED and SpokenFest, and have themselves facilitated over 50 art workshops for adults and other children.
OUR PROGRAMS: THE JIJIVISHA FELLOWSHIP
Our high-touch program The Jijivisha Fellowship places artists in under-resourced classrooms for 5 years in year-long fellowship cycles to help build Creative Confidence in children. Fellows deliver 60 hours of arts-based learning throughout the academic year.
The year-long fellowship cycle ends with showcases (open mics, performances, exhibitions), for students to demonstrate their creativity and learning.
So far, we have brought The Jijivisha Fellowship to more than 7,500 children and 100 artists, working across Delhi NCR and Pune.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, we rolled out a hybrid version of the fellowship in Pune - adapted to the pandemic-induced school closures. More than 50% of children moved up to level 3 on the Creative Confidence rubric, compared to 34% at the beginning of the program.
We’re currently gearing up to impact 2,000 children in Delhi and Pune with the next fellowship cycle, with a renewed curriculum that integrates the themes of Gender Equity and Climate Action learning through art.
OUR PROGRAMS: ARTS FOR ALL
Arts for All (AFA) is our offering of low-touch, scalable interventions that involve both elements of teacher and facilitator training and implementation of arts-based sessions with children, using original SOL-created lesson plans, activities, guides and modules. Currently, AFA comprises 2 programs:
1) Meri Awaaz (My Voice), our gender equity program where SOL-trained facilitators teach children about gender discrimination and equality through arts-based activities;
2) Project Āvāza, our new teacher training and art-session implementation program executed in collaboration with the state council of education in Punjab, India.
AFA programs are also complemented by SOL’s own WhatsApp chatbot, with which children and their parents can engage to receive weekly art activities and submit their artwork.
Meri Awaaz currently reaches 22,000+ children across 8 Indian states through 278 community facilitators. Project Āvāza is slated to reach 100 teachers in Punjab, who are in charge of at least 3,000 children.
Past scale programs have also included Voice for All, a high-touch engagement in 950 Indian villages run in partnership with Pratham Education Foundation in 2019, and the piloting of the first iteration of Arts for All during the COVID-19 school closures with the District government of Patiala in Punjab.
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
We aim to reach 20 million children by 2025 by leveraging low-tech mediums and partnering with State Governments’ Education Departments, giving every child in India the opportunity to find and use their voice.
To find out more about our work:
- Education Continuity during the Coronavirus crisis | A case study of Slam Out Loud’s response to COVID-19 by The World Bank
- NDTV | Slam Out Loud Brings Arts Into Education
- The Indian Express | Slam Out Loud: Changing the World Through Poetry
- The Possibilities of Art in Socio-Emotional Learning: Curating Young Leaders’ Well Being