By Carolyn Meade
School Ready With Art, the recipient of a $76,000 WIF Grant awarded in May 2015, trains teachers to integrate the arts into core subjects in the preschool curriculum. It is paired with Community School for the Arts’ “Preschool Arts Lab,” which twice each year visits classrooms to lead students in arts activities related to a book.
WIF’s grant enabled CSA to expand the program to seven schools: The Learning Collaborative, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, Lakewood Preschool, Idlewild Elementary, Greenway Park Elementary, Mountain Island Lake Academy, and Winding Springs Elementary. Participating teachers have loved it and are now prepared to deliver arts-integrated lessons for years to come.
Teachers report increased interest from students and retention of the related lessons, particularly in the classes for exceptional children. For example, a “Dinosaurs and Dragons” lesson (which you can check out HERE) led one such child to surprise his parents. Normally unresponsive, when his father asked about the lesson, the young man responded with “Dinosaurs, rawrrr!” CSA’s program has received positive media attention; the local PBS filmed a segment at the Learning Collaborative during a School Ready with Art session in 2015.
Did you know that our Community Impact Committee tracks our awarded grants throughout the lifetime of their grants? During the 2015-2016 year, 17 women tracked nine grantees, consisting of four of our 2014 winners (all of whom had 2 year grants) and all five of our 2015 winners. This article is one of a series featuring those 2014 and 2015 grantees.