Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Donna C Owens
Middle school students are faced with many challenges related to their mental health and school. During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, additional mental health concerns and challenges related to school were escalated. In a population that is pre-occupied with peer interactions and perceptions, being in quarantine left students without a sense of connection to their peers. The goal of the community engagement project presented was to utilize the creative arts to aid in building a sense of community and connection amongst 15 middle school students. During a creative arts enrichment course, the students were asked to select two art forms and a topic related to their school community. The students were divided into three groups to creatively answer the questions provided related to passions within their school through sketching and creating memes. Through this process, students were able to collaborate with one another, while being challenged to think abstractly about their community. The community engagement project highlighted the challenges of this population while attempting to bridge these gaps through collaboration. It is my recommendation that future research continue to expand upon the structure of art forms utilized and how future research may provide clarity into long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in community building of the middle school population.
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Raguckas, Amber, "Building Connections Through Community Art With Middle School Students: A Community Engagement Project" (2022). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 640.
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