Middle School Creative Development: Excel Beyond the Bell Program

Sparking an Interest in the Arts

Since 2011, in conjunction with several other direct service providers in a Montgomery County Collaboration Council supported initiative, AOB has launched arts programming for under-served middle school students in the county. Called “Excel Beyond the Bell” (EBB), schools chosen on greatest need for supplemental services are given the opportunity to enlist the assistance of professional teaching artists in offering creative programs to their students.

AOB delivers after school visual arts programs through EBB to students at Neelsville Middle School. Students at risk of academic failure use imagery, symbolism, and abstraction to create individual artworks while developing their personal vision and voice. The program includes mosaic, printmaking, illustration, animation, sculpture, and recycled materials. Students also explore creative careers through high school and beyond. The program runs for three consecutive 10-week sessions and features two-hour weekly classes that lead students through an array of artistic endeavors.