Here Comes Ingo, a unique picture book which encourages young readers to switch seats with the illustrator via painting, coloring and drawing directly ON the page in order to tap into both their imaginary world as well as their socio-cultural realities, is a great example of the benefits of art in early childhood development via its open ended creative explorations. In this regard, the book's (intentionally loose) storyline offers a beautifully crafted space for children to try their hand on becoming storytellers on their own right while simultaneously acknowledging that things can be confusing and "not getting" someting at first glance or be unable to vocalize it clearly is a perfectably acceptable response. The surreal elements in this visual story are there in order to remind children that "confusion" is not a bad thing to be avoided at all costs; on the contrary, it may serve as a gentle reminder to get out of their head and step inside a magnificently crafted visual experience which allows them to find their own voice by giving new life to the story of Ingo. In this sense, Here Comes Ingo becomes a natural ally of the National Council of Teachers of English dedicated support of emancipatory pedagogies. NCTE believes that "it is essential that we resist any attempt that is made to separate school based language arts programs from the socio-cultural realities of children’s everyday lives. Our task is to support the work of teachers as they work closely with their students and their families to build classrooms where everyone has an opportunity to participate in the conversation with a renewed consciousness of worth and possibility of their own language use and the literacies that they share".
It is precisely this laser focus on giving children a voice to explore, understand and visualize their own world via the arts that guides the work of some other wonderful organizations such as:
BEAM CENTER brings together youth, artists, engineers, and educators to produce ambitious, collaborative projects that support youth to take bold steps towards meaningful futures and foster conditions for educational equity.
CREATIVE ARTS WORK empowers young people through arts programming that incorporates academic enrichment, creative expression, workforce development and community engagement.
WINGSPAN ARTS aims to enrich the lives of young people in and around New York City through multi-disciplinary arts education programs both in and out of the classroom. Art programs emphasize the value of theatre, music, visuals arts, and dance while also using these art forms as tools for communication, personal growth, and self-expression.