CREATE’s smARTkids™ is a free after-school program that helps level the playing field for young students from low-income households by eliminating cost as a barrier to participation. Combining art therapy techniques, teacher modeling, and visual arts mediums, smARTkids’™ curriculum helps elementary school students to overcome emotional, cognitive, behavioral and social issues that can impair learning and development. Taught by specially trained CREATE educators and artists, the smARTkids curriculum teaches critical thinking skills, resilience, language and literacy skills, peer-to-peer skills, and self-confidence that enables students to reach their full potential in the classroom and in life.

Begun as a pilot program in 2008, smARTkids™ has benefited thousands of students in 16 Montgomery County, MD public elementary schools.

Outcomes and Impact

Many students who participate in smARTkids™ come from low-income and minority, and are limited English proficient (LEP). CREATE works directly with school counselors, ESOL teachers and reading specialists to identify students most likely to benefit from the program, smARTkids™ provides specialized programming to best support the individual needs of each student.


*less absenteeism

*greater classroom participation

*better attitudes towards learning and school

*improved academic performance

*tools to resolve peer conflicts

*ability to process emotions and feelings in a safe, inclusive and non-judgmental space

*increased self-esteem and self-confidence


If you are interested in bringing the smARTkids™ program to your school, please contact Lisa Pascal at

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