In order to be most effective, we’re very focused. We work with 10 middle schools in Portland and Central Oregon with a high percentage of low-income students.
Teachers and counselors at these schools help us identify struggling students with limited access to the arts. Once we start working with a student, we commit to working with him or her year-round through high school graduation and beyond. We become family.
Our work with high school students takes place through regular weekend activities. By holding Saturday events, weekend intensives, and various industry partner events, our older students are able to stay involved with Caldera throughout the year. This year, we have also formed an “Innovation Team” for students to get more leadership training and be more intensely involved. Our weekend sessions are designed in response to student interests and needs, while also focusing on our curriculum themes of the year. These sessions include arts workshops, college tours and visits to trade schools, environmental projects, college and career prep, leadership development, and opportunities to attend events, have fun, and generally get together to reconnect.
High School Saturday Events
This year, Caldera begins offering Saturday events and activities for high school students weekly in Portland and three Saturdays a month in Central Oregon. During the 2011-2012 school year, students had the opportunity to attend concerts, view film festivals, go bouldering and backpacking, make fragrances, visit college campuses, and more. During the 2012-2013 school year there will be even more opportunities for adventure, learning, and community building!
Students going into their junior and senior year of high school can be part of Caldera’s Innovation Team. Students on the Innovation Team will attend an extra summer camp session, be required to attend at least two Saturday meetings a month, participate in more arts throughout the year, help choose events for all of our high school students to participate in, and learn leadership skills that will help them as artists and professionals. Innovators will also receive special opportunities to meet with creative professionals and learn a variety of ways one can apply their creativity in a career.
While at Innovation Camp, the Innovators will work on creative art projects designed just for them, take day trips to various beautiful places around Caldera, and have time and activities to build up their confidence in themselves and as a team.
Innovators will also oversee content development for our new Caldera Student Blog during the school year by contributing their own words and images to communicate what is happening in the Caldera stratosphere.
College Scholarships and Career Support
Several scholarship opportunities are available specifically to students who have participated in our Caldera programs. Caldera grads can apply for Caldera specific scholarships! Through University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Marylhurst College and the Abbott-Carlson Scholarship fund, qualifying students can apply to receive funds to help them pursue higher education. Students receiving Abbott-Carlson awards can apply them to trade school, community college, or university pursuits. For more information contact Alisha Orefice – Alisha.Orefice@CalderaArts.org.
During middle school, we bring our students to the Caldera Summer Camp for eight days and provide weekly mentoring support throughout the rest of the school year. We also bring artists to each school for a weeklong residency and provide arts training to teachers and staff.