The Education Commission of the States’ recently released policy brief, Creative Youth Development: Transforming the Learning Environment, which received input from the Creative Youth Development National Partnership, provides an overview of CYD and its connections to student success, examples of successful programs, and considerations for state policymakers.
CYD programs may be particularly beneficial for underserved youth, providing them with opportunities to amplify inherent strengths and talents, build positive relationships, and express themselves in safe and healthy spaces. Increased flexibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offer states the opportunity to explore the use of innovative strategies to provide students with a well-rounded education that includes the arts. CYD strategies may serve to narrow the achievement gap and increase equity in education systems. Additionally, states may use CYD programs in conjunction with other educational initiatives, including those related to school improvement, alternative education, deeper learning, social-emotional learning and 21st century skills.