The Pathways Schools, a regional network of therapeutic schools for middle and high schoolers, is looking for local patrons of the arts to help support an upcoming student art show in downtown Hyattsville.
“We are really trying to actively solicit donations and contributions," said Dr. Tania DuBeau, director of programs for the Pathways Schools. "Fundraising is critical and every dollar counts, every donation makes a difference.”
The second-annual art show, raffle and sale will be held on April 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Busboys and Poets on 5331 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, will help fund the academic, therapeutic and vocational components of The Pathways Schools programs.
The Pathways Schools operate six therapeutic educational facilities in Prince George's, Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties catering to students between the ages of 11 and 21 who live with emotional and behavioral disabilities which cannot be adequately addressed in the standard public school system. Educators at the schools are challenged not only with making sure their students learn math, science and art, but also guiding the students to a point where they can "become independent contributing members of our communities", according to the school's website.
The Pathways Schools program, funded at a state and county level, is approved by the state of Maryland and follows the state public-school curriculum crafted individually around the educational needs of each student.
“We are always working towards community awareness,” continued DuBeau. “I don’t think a lot of people understand entirely about our population and the importance of non-public schools like ours.”
The Pathways Schools are not funded privately. Parents do not have to pay tuition. The school operates like a public-school but incorporates programs and therapeutic components with resident artists, music programs and basketball programs.
“We have some incredibly talented students when it comes to art and this is the perfect opportunity for them to showcase their talents,” said DuBeau.
Cross-site art teacher for the six schools and co-founder of ArtDC.org Stephen Mead said there is no single theme to the students’ art to be showcased in April.
“A lot of the art is student-focused, and you’ll definitely be able to see a difference of work between the schools. They’re all working on something different, between painting, mosaics and some pastel drawings.” said Mead. “It deals mainly with things that are important to the students themselves. Some art includes urban-settings aspects, some is being done for commission, but everything is for sale.”
Two works being done for commission include works depicting a 1974 Oldsmobile painting and the Baltimore Ravens.
Mead, originally from Ohio, has been an art teacher since 1994. He got his start taught Toledo where he started working with at-risk youth where he also began some art programs at the Toledo Museum of Art.
“I think the students are doing very well," said Mead "The ability level varies but the effort and the thought is pretty significant. Some of the kids have trouble staying on task in an academic setting but they focus really well with art and are constantly engaged and always thinking of new ideas.”
“A lot of the problem is their lack of confidence but art is something where they can express themselves freely and it ultimately builds their esteem," said Mead.
The finished art will only be available the night of the event at pre-determined prices. All of the funds will support the Pathways Schools and the individual artists, but sponsorship money and donations will go entirely to Pathways Schools.
Tickets can also be purchased at anytime for a 50-50 raffle. Of the money that is raised, half will go to a randomly chosen winner and half will go to the Pathways Schools. DuBeau said last year the winner received about $2,000.
“We really want to get as many people out to sponsor it,” said DuBeau.
Donate to The Pathways Schools under “give direct.”