Transforming Cleveland Schools through the Arts

February 22, 2010

Be a Part of the Celebration!

As both changes and challenges course through the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, community partners are needed now more than ever.  It is our responsibility as a community to provide our children every opportunity to succeed.  Art is Education is a program that does just that!

Musician and studentArt is Education is a program of Young Audiences that provides more than 4,000 students in Cleveland public schools with standards-based integrated arts experiences.

We invite you to see this taking place in the Cleveland schools first-hand during Art is Education week.  Please come witness and celebrate what Art is Education is doing for our schools and our community:

Be part of the Celebration for Arts Education at Cleveland City Hall
Monday, March 15, 5-7 p.m.
601 Lakeside Ave, Cleveland City Hall Rotunda
Student performances and exhibits.  Refreshments will be served.
Contact matt@yaneo.org or 216-561-5005 x15 for more information.

Visit an Art is Education School
Teaching artists will be working in classrooms.  Observe a workshop or performance in action.  Tour the school to see what they are learning! Contact ann@yaneo.org or 216-561-5005 x13 to schedule a school visit.

Art is Education provides students and teachers with Students work on Glass Tile Muralaccess to unique local arts resources and has students immersed in work with artists throughout the year. Professional teaching artists from more than 30 arts and cultural organizations in Cleveland participate in Art is Education and help make learning through the arts occur across the curriculum.  Through visual art, dance, theater, music, and technology, Art is Education exposes students to art forms that may have been unfamiliar to them and helps improve academic achievement and enhance students’ cognitive, social, and personal development.

Sometimes it is the excitement of an arts program that gives a child a reasonStudents created African masksto stay focused and engaged in school.  The arts give children a chance to take risks and become critical and creative thinkers in a positive, safe environment.

Please feel free to contact Community Engagement Coordinator Matt Slain at 216-561-5005 x15 or matt@yaneo.org for more information about Art is Education Week.

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Art is Education Helps Students Shine at Luis Munoz Marin

February 19, 2010

–A Teacher’s Perspective–

It has been my great fortune to be the site coordinator for Art is Education at Luis Munoz Marin K-8 for two years. The goal of Young Audiences’ Art is Education program is to make the arts a part of every child’s education, every day. Luis Munoz Marin Elementary is one of eight Cleveland Metropolitan School District schools participating in Art is Education. We have a large school that includes approximately 100 teachers and 800+ students. Every student in our building has been involved with different artist groups provided by Art is Education for those two years.

There are so many success stories that I have observed at our school, and I wanted to share a few. Many of our students struggle with letter sounds, but through Art is Education we have discovered a kinesthetic method to cement sounds with the written letter. Last year our K-2 students (including our self-contained special education classes) worked with professional dancers from Verb Ballets to learn the alphabet and phonetic sounds through movement. The students loved it and amazed their teachers by writing words using the movements they learned. The first graders this year remembered the movements and were teaching the kindergartners to use the same movements. This year the K-2 students are learning new techniques with Dance Afrika Dance. Actors play different roles teaching students about letter sounds and numbers. The teachers are enjoying the activities as much as the students and the results are positive again.

Last year our 4-6th graders worked with Progressive Arts Alliance to create a documentary film about our neighborhood that was premiered at Lincoln West High School and Tower City Cinema. My students learned about videotaping, lighting, editing, and adding music to tape. They did research and storyboarded their ideas. We went with the artists to our library and the students took photos to be added to our video. Many of my students discovered that they had a gift for photography or lighting and are considering new careers that they never knew existed.

This year students studied musical genres with Roots of American Music. Professional musicians helped students record a CD of songs they wrote with the artists about ways to take charge of their personal finances. It was a great way to integrate Language Arts, Math and Music. Because of the excellent planning of the artists, the Art is Education programs ran smoothly and behavior problems were close to nil. Every learning style was addressed- there was movement, singing, writing, and instrument playing!! Many teachers have tried to use some of the exercises they learned from the professional artists to enhance their teaching, such as the use of vocal warm-ups to improve speech and incorporating music during writing activities.

There are so many other stories to tell about the other artist groups and students that have participated in our school-wide infusion of the arts. Art is Education is the necessary ingredient to involve all children across the curriculum and energize our classrooms. Everyone reaps the rewards- students, parents, teachers, administrators and the artists. I know that Art is Education has made a difference at my school, and I have visited other Art is Education schools and have witnessed the same transformation happening. Buildings beautified with student-made sculpture and murals and classrooms

Kitty Merk

Kitty Merk

are abuzz with the energy and the enthusiasm that art infuses. Art is Education has so much to offer to our students and the possibilities are endless.

–Kitty Merk, Luis Munoz Marin K-8, Cleveland