Young Rembrandts has opened a childhood art enrichment program that serves students in schools and local organizations in northeast Johnson County.
Overland Park resident Gabriela Godoy, owner and director of the Young Rembrandts, said the program teaches youth from kindergarten through sixth grade how to develop their artistic skills.
Godoy said the curriculum centers around teaching art — a right-brained activity — using left-brained methodology. This teaching style allows students to develop perspective, placement of subject and also time management. Young Rembrandts also offers a day program for preschoolers as well as workshops during school breaks.
“I haven’t really come across a program like ours that teaches kids to draw step by step, that gives them structure, instruction, to do art,” she said. “It really teaches them a lot of discipline and focus.”
Since the local Young Rembrandts program opened in December 2018, Godoy has brought art education programming to 25 schools on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro area, including Overland Park Elementary, Trailwood Elementary and Christa McAuliffe Elementary in the Shawnee Mission School District, as well as Christ Lutheran School.
“Some of the feedback I get is, ‘Well, we have a lot of after-school programs, we don’t want to overload our students,” she said. “But none of them are art programs. There may be sports or science-based, but none of those programs are art after-school programs.”
The new Young Rembrandts location serves schools, parks and recreation departments and community organizations in the Kansas City area, including all of northeast Johnson County. Godoy also offers classes outside of schools such as art galleries, churches and spaces available for rent. She plans to partner with Images Art Gallery in downtown Overland Park to start offering classes in April. Young Rembrandts also has art classes at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.
Godoy comes from a 20-year career in telecommunications. As a trilingual speaker of Spanish, German and English, Godoy said she eventually plans to open a language academy as well. Her own children, ages 7 and 4, are her inspiration for the new programming, as she hopes they can learn other languages like hers.
“There is nowhere in Kansas City where you can take children of their age to learn a language,” she said, adding that the only options are for children to enroll in schools that teach other languages. In her case, her children attend a private school that only teaches Latin. “You want to get them started early.”
An exact timeline for Godoy’s new language academy isn’t set yet, but she expects to move forward with plans as soon as possible.
“They keep asking me, ‘when are you going to start your classes?’” she said, “So I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later because I know that there’s the demand for it.”