Recently, I needed to summarize the spirit of Patchwork’s Arts & Smarts children’s program in two minutes or less. I decided to read “The Creed Official,” the official Arts & Smarts code of conduct that the children recite every day as part of their snack time ritual.
The Creed was written a few years ago by participants in the children’s program, though there are several addendums that our current participants have added to address conflicts as they have arisen. The Creed reads:
The Creed Official
- Listen and be safe
- Follow directions and stay with your group
- Be nice & respectful
- Use good manners
- Have a good attitude
- Be respectful of others’ art
- Keep your hands to yourself
- Do your best and have fun
- Use nice words—no cursing
Addendums (repeated as call and response)
- If you want to feel good… You gotta do good.
- If you want to have a friend… You gotta be a friend.
- Live life… On purpose.
- No whining… Ever.
- Do what you’re told… When you’re told.
- Treat other people… The way you want to be treated.
The Creed sets high expectations, but the children work hard to follow it while they’re at Patchwork. On multiple occasions, I’ve had adults comment that their jobs would be much more enjoyable if they and their coworkers followed the creed as well as the children at Patchwork.
We’ve just completed two weeks of Leadership Training for our Arts & Smarts participants in grades 6 and up. These teens make up our Junior Leader Team who are expected to model good behavior to the younger participants, to assist these younger participants whenever they need help, and to work together as a team. In appreciation of their efforts, they get to do special activities designed just for them on a regular basis.
The teens in this year’s Junior Leadership Team will be great leaders and this should be another great year in the Arts & Smarts program. Activities are now open to all: tutoring for children in grade 1 and up, and arts and other activities for children in grade 2 and up. Participants must be registered by a parent or guardian, and registration forms are available on our website (www.patchwork.org) and in our main office.