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Start an After School Art Class – Tips and Resources for Success

After School Art Class After school art classes or art enrichment programs provide much needed additional art experiences for kids! These are DIFFERENT from an art club because students pay for these classes. I feel very fortunate that my school allowed me to start an after school art class (this class completely independent from the school as if I was an outside source-I buy ALL my own supplies & pay for ALL advertising on my own, so they let me keep all profit). We have done summer camps as well, but now I focus on after school classes during the school year-it works best for my family.

These are tips & FREE resources I have learned and created along the way that make it very successful now! (This is from the point of view of an art teacher at her own school.)

Steps to Start an After School Art Class:

  1. Get approval from your administration. Let them know that you will be taking care of the class 100%-all money, supplies/clean-up & advertising. It will be NO extra work for them (so you should be able to keep all profits). **Also check on approval for students not enrolled at the school to attend.
  2. Decide class length, session dates, tuition, class ages & # limit, and location. (I do once a week-1 hr/15 minutes, 10 week sessions for $125 in my art room in the fall & another in the spring)
    1. TIP: Give Teacher’s kids a price break ($15 off)-they are great promoters for the class!
  3. You may want to write up a contract so expectations are fully set up by both parties. Include:
    1. Date of class sessions (10 weeks is a good length, I’ve done 12 weeks & that seemed too long)
    2. Location of the class (art room, cafeteria-needs to be somewhere with a sink!!)
    3. Age Ranges: k-5 or 2 separate classes k-2 & 3-5
    4. Class enrollment limit: I suggest limiting to 16 children-it’s hard to give individual instruction with more than that
    5. If they want you to give some portion of the profit back to pay for facility usage.
    6. Where the supplies will come from-who will purchase?
    7. Who tuition for the class is paid to-you
  4. Get approval to advertise to the student population & through school media.
  5. Advertising: (3-4 weeksprior to start of class)
    1. Make flyers/forms: here is my form –After School Art Class Sign Up Form- Example (PDF)After School Art Sign Up Form
    2. Write a blurb about the class to go in teachers newsletters and the school newsletter
    3. Write a blurb about the class to go on the school website
    4. Advertising outside the school: home school co-ops, Facebook-on your personal FB or create a FB page, advertise on your personal blog/website, Flyers or signs around the school or your neighborhood
  6.  Keep a spreadsheet for Enrollment & Tax Purposes- Art Class Enrollment (Blank) Art Class Enrollment Excel PREVIEW
  7. Keep ALL receipts & deposit slips in an envelop for taxes.
  8. Come up with classroom procedures/rules & TEACH them the first day of the art class!! This is just like your classroom-if you don’t start off with classroom management you’ll regret it!
  9. Policies & Procedures for the After School Art class-VERY IMPORTANT-give to parents first day of class!!  Includes refund policy, bad weather policy, etc. After School Art Class Policies & Procedures
  10. Figure out your project line up before the session starts, have lessons plans and an example ready before presenting the lesson! I usually get 1 project done every 1-2 weeks (because of the length of the class 1hr 15 min.)
  11. Take pictures & notes along the way.
  12. HAVE FUN!!

Have any other tips to share? Please share them in the comments!!

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