The GAC Youth@Art Program is a broad reaching outreach project which seeks to engage hundreds of elementary, middle school and high school students from the Greenwich public school system with a greater understanding of visual art through immersion in teaching methodologies derived Harvard Professor Howard Gardner's work in Multiple Intelligence Theory. In essence, this educational method is based in an inquiry approach, which recognizes that each young person experiences the world and accesses learning through different sensory priorities. The goal is not to fill the student with facts, but rather to open up pathways to a student's unique set of receptive abilities and thereby allow lasting learning to occur.
To validate this method GAC uses Student Docents under the guidance of master art educators. These Student Docents are trained to increase their visual and literacy skills, while also helping to facilitate the larger curriculum goals of the Board of Education. Knowledge of art, public speaking experience and enhanced self-esteem are among some of the additional benefits available to these students.
The Student Docents are trained to guide their peers from their own class grades through various exhibitions at the GAC Bendheim Gallery, eliciting their observations and opinions of the works on view. With teacher and art educator support, this larger group of students reflects on their experience and give feed-back, frequently in the context of structured hands-on art workshops where the students create their own art. Where possible artists whose work is included in the exhibitions are brought into direct contact with the students, allowing them to interact with and teach them.