United South End Settlements’ Children’s Art Centre began its Studio Arts In-School Residency program and partnership with the Hurley K-8 School in 2012. The program was originally funded for two years by the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative, a multi-year effort to expand arts education in schools across the district. Nearly 100 students in K2 and first grade receive weekly classes taught in both English and Spanish.
Working alongside classroom teachers during the school day, the Children’s Art Centre’s teaching artist integrates visual arts methods to support teachers with new tools and techniques that encourage learning and skill transfer into the students’ daily curriculum. By integrating artistic concepts with developmentally appropriate core subjects, children are engaged holistically alongside their peers in a creative, social and collaborative environment.
Classroom teachers also have access to a resource packet of activities and extension units to make the highest impact on students’ learning and support their own professional development and empowerment through the arts. The teaching artist works with the teachers to set up their classroom with arts-friendly activities that emphasize the importance of process over product.
According to The Arts Education Partnership & The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: “Young people who are disengaged from school are at risk of failure. The arts reach students who are not otherwise being reached.” The partnership with the Hurley K-8 School is intended to support students such students. By empowering the classroom teachers to take on many of these activities, the Children’s Art Centre aims to extend its impact even when we are not onsite.
Despite the decline in grant funding, the Children’s Art Centre has decided to continue its partnership with the Hurley K-8 School and provide programming pro-bono during its third year. The impact that this program has had on the school, especially during a time without a visual arts teacher on staff, is too important to abruptly stop.
“This class has given me the confidence to do more art in the classroom. I have new ideas for how to expand on the curriculum so students can make interesting connections in their language arts lessons,” reflects one of the classroom teachers.
You can help us continue for a fourth year of increasing confidence, making connections, and engaging students in learning. Click here to help.