Can art be used in a way that teaches students about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)? Arts educators at United South End Settlements (USES) Children’s Art Centre believe wholeheartedly that art can be used to increase academic achievement across the STEM spectrum.
“The arts represent the most inclusive, engaging, and powerful tool early educators have, and when used effectively, they can be a critical component of promoting healthy development and even in addressing the achievement gap. In working with the Children’s Art Centre (CAC) a program of USES, I have the opportunity to put this belief into action every day by creating and implementing innovative, high-quality arts programming with the young children and families who need it most, working through an agency that has been a trusted resource in the community for over 120 years,” said Helen Schroeder, CAC Coordinator. The Children’s Art Centre’s Arts-in-Education Specialist, Catherine Aiello, has been taking CAC quality programming into the Hurley School and teaching classes there for the past two years.
A portion of this work is done in partnership with the South End Arts Education Collaborative which was initiated in 2010 by parents and educators who understand the important links between arts education and the academic success of their students. Chelsea Revelle, Director of Arts and Culture at USES said, “Through these partnerships, we have gained a greater understanding of the needs of the families in our community and schools, and the effort it will take to ensure that every child has access to quality art education that will lead to their greater success in life.”
On May 2, 2014, the CAC received the prestigious 2014 Arts|Learning Community Arts Collaborative in Visual Arts Award at Arts|Learning’s 28th Annual Champions of Arts Advocacy Awards Ceremony and Symposium at Lesley University.
USES’ Children’s Art Centre, currently in its Centennial year, was started in 1914 as the first public fine arts museum in the U.S. designed exclusively for children. The building, tucked away behind a brick wall with an arching iron gate at 48 Rutland Street in Boston’s South End neighborhood, was erected in 1918 and is one of Boston’s “hidden jewels.”
Kevin Hepner, USES’ President and CEO said, “USES has been championing the arts in general for well over 100 years and the CAC continues to bring arts and cultural enrichment to everyone in the community regardless of race, ethnic background, or ability to pay. More recently, we are aligning our arts learning efforts with the Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework and National Standards for Arts Education. USES is truly honored to receive this award from Arts|Learning.”
For more information about USES or the CAC, visit www.uses.org.