During ACAM’s first ten years, our classes have focused on the first and second phases of our programmatic strategy: the individual level and the ensemble level. We teach approximately 250 students a year, ranging in age from 4 -17 years old. With our faculty of ten salaried and three volunteer teaching artists, ACAM offers 63 group-class sessions per week and 30 individual-class sessions in: theatre; dance (ballet, Baile Folklorico, contemporary); music (cello, chorus, drums, flute, guitar, musicianship, oboe, piano, recorder, trombone, trumpet, violin). Students and parents have access to a safe area for homework and a small library. Everyone receives a nutritional snack each day.
Performances and evaluations are important aspects of the ACAM program. Students have over six performance opportunities each year. Students participate in juries judged by faculty and parents in May and November. Parents and students evaluate the ACAM program on a regular basis.
ACAM is committed to building a feeling of community among students, teachers, parents and community partners, and seeks to develop individuals who want to give back to their community. Students learn to collaborate with one another, and older students mentor younger ones. ACAM seeks to develop responsibility in students to manage their time, to take responsibility for their own growth and to help fellow students learn.
ACAM encourages students to think about and demonstrate ways to sustain the work of ACAM for both current and future students.
ACAM’s philosophy is one of collaborative learning where students help other students to learn, parents help their children learn, and parents also help each other learn through participating in the activities and classes of ACAM. The ACAM Parent Support Group help raise fund through a snack bar, recycling, selling food at events and for special occasions. The group conducts ESL and aerobics classes for parents and also keeps the premises clean.
During these ten years, we have seen a dramatic change in the level of participation in ACAM’s program, both by students and parents. In essence, we have seen a community created where everyone participates to make it happen.