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  • 9200 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
  • 916.963.4000

At-Risk Youth

In this course, educators in alternative schools will learn how infusing a standards-based curriculum with the arts and Waldorf methodology can lead to a successful, transformative educational experience for both teachers and students. Focus of the course is disseminating an innovative model program for at-risk youth developed over the past several years at the Yuba County Court and Community Schools in partnership with Rudolf Steiner College. The project was recently supported by the California Arts Council (as an Arts Demonstration Project) and is now supported by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation.

Our 2014 session will take place July 13-24, 2015

Program Highlights

  • Students improve academic skills, as well as their attitude toward school, themselves, and their communities.
  • The arts—drawing, music, painting, storytelling, movement, poetry, and drama—are integrated fully into academic lessons
  • This approach provides visual-spatial musical opportunities for expression and knowing, and a kinesthetic environment that fosters and develops students’ movement-oriented needs.
  • The integrated arts program, in sync with current neurological research, increases students’ learning abilities, and helps break the cycle of failure and hopelessness in which these students are often trapped.
  • The Waldorf-based program has been tested for ten years at the T.E. Mathews Community School in Yuba County with high-risk juvenile offenders, 12–18 years old.

What Teachers Will Learn

  • Teachers will develop personal capacities in the arts, literature, music, and movement.
  • Teachers will learn to deliver creative, arts-infused thematic lessons within a curriculum that meets state standards, as well as students’ developmental needs.
  • Teachers will learn how to engage students with multiple learning styles and challenges.

What institute participants have said...

I had the opportunity to spend a day at T. E. Mathews School in Marysville. The program is impressive. The students, on probation from the Juvenile Court, were engaged, actively learning, and having fun...I wouldn't have believed it---thirty plus juvenile delinquents playing recorders and loving it. What an impressive sight!

Dale Hamad, Ph.D., Supervisor of Academic Instruction, CA State Prison, Sacramento

Waldorf methodology incorporates the best practices that resilience education and prevention evaluation research have found to promote positive developmental outcomes in young people, including health-risk behavior prevention/intervention and academic success. The project fills an incredible void, a vast gap in the supports, services and opportunities available to young people, especially those with multiple risks and challenges in their lives. The project offers both the content and process for creating a cadre of turnaround teachers and turnaround schools that truly can weave a safety net, a fabric of resilience for our most in need young people.

Bonnie Benard, Senior Program Associate and Resiliency Specialist, WestEd


Article by Arline Monks in The Journal of Court, Community, and Alternative Schools, “Breaking Down the Barriers to Learning: The Power of the Arts.” (PDF)

For information, please contact Sandra Gill (916) 961-3932 or sandra.gill@steinercollege.edu at Rudolf Steiner College.