The Creative Mentors Foundation is a charity that helps students at school with learning differences to engage successfully with the educational opportunities they are offered in the areas of art and design and music. This includes students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, aspergers/autism and ADHD.
We believe that helping students in these areas of the curriculum, where they can do exceptionally well, leads to greater self-esteem and confidence. In turn, this can promote higher levels of achievement in other subject areas and in their lives beyond school.
Our approach is to provide mentors to work in schools within the creative areas of the curriculum. All our mentors have succeeded to postgraduate level in art and design or music and are themselves dyslexic and/or dyspraxic. We believe this experience enables them to have empathy towards the students we are aiming to help and an intuitive understanding of the difficulties they face.
People with dyslexia struggle with many academic tasks at school such as reading and writing.
Uta Frith (1997), Margaret Snowling (1997), Amanda Kirby (1999), Tilly Mortimore (2003) and Liz Du Pre, Dorothy Gilroy and Tim Miles (2008).
Failing and or struggling with academic tasks can do enormous harm to students’ self-esteem, which in turn negatively affects their learning experiences.
McLoughlin et al (1994).
There is a well-established link between some types of dyslexia and creativity.
Maryanne Wolf (2007), John Everatt, Beverley Steffert and Ian Smythe (1999).
Acknowledgment and praise from peers and teachers can positively affect self-esteem.
At school it is often hard for students with learning differences to usefully engage with the music and art and design curricula, because of the way they are taught and assessed.
By teaching these children strategies to usefully engage and often excel in creative areas, self-esteem is re-established, maintained, enhanced. Once students feel confident that they have learning strategies that work, they are often able to transfer their newfound confidence into other areas of the curriculum and fulfil their learning potential.
This is the aim of the Creative Mentors Foundation.