Amie Rogers, local artist and Augustana College graduate, has been serving as an AmeriCorps service member with the Stepping Stones program since August. She provides art enrichment to Stepping Stones youth, teaching students about design elements and art principles, while exploring different materials, media, and techniques. Shaney Ford, Stepping Stones Manager, says, “Art experiences have always been an important part of Out of School Time Programs. They give youth an opportunity to learn skills, practice techniques, experiment, and talk about their work, in a safe environment with caring adults. We do things in Stepping Stones that most of us never got to do at home, because we didn’t have the right materials – or it just made too much of a mess!” Jennifer Best, Stepping Stones evaluator says, “Research shows that participation in art gives youth an opportunity to express feelings, nurture self-efficacy, and encourage engagement with the community. It has also been linked to greater academic success.” Stepping Stones thanks Amie Rogers in her service to Stepping Stones during the 2014-2015 school year!