Arts For Learning Indiana

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Arts for Summer Learning

Did you participate in #ReadWhereYouAreDay? Arts for Learning implemented a arts in literacy program this summer to help lessen the summer learning gap! 


On July 29th the U.S. Department of Education implemented a #ReadWhereYouAre day. This was a day of action that encouraged everyone to show how anyone can read wherever they are posting photos on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The point of all this? To raise awareness of the impact that summer reading has on student’s school year learning and the ability reading during the summer has to lessen the school year achievement gap. Photos flooded in, depicting scenes of reading in the office, on a bus, and even Michelle Obama and Dr. Seuss Characters reading to a group of children.

At Arts for Learning, we were happy to see this day arrive. Our Arts for Summer Learning program students participated in what could be called a 6 week long #ReadWhereYouAre campaign, although we preferred to call it the Arts for Learning Lessons. These arts in literacy lessons allowed students to dive deeper into their reading and encouraged discussion of the texts beyond the words on the page. Techniques including collage and tableau enhanced the text through artistic means, giving the students a different perspective and enhancing their understanding of the story.

Arts for Summer Learning were done in partnership with Summer Advantage at Stephen Decatur elementary school. First through sixth grade students participated in three different literacy lessons, each facilitated by a professional teaching artist and a Summer Advantage teaching assistant. Each class was involved with a slightly different artistic style and perspective based not only on the lesson they were participating in, but also on the teaching artists who was leading the class.

The third grade class read hearta story about Roberto Clemente, titled Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente was a Puerto Rican baseball player that was able to help his country out through his charity work before dying in a tragic plane accident. The class created collages, such as the one to the left which was described as “A fallen heart in the green ocean, that as Roberto. The sea is red with the red airplane to show how awful it was when he fell from the sky into the ocean. It was so sad.”

Though these students were not involved in this program for a long length of time, they were able to gain valuable skills and greater insight into the stories through the arts in literacy lessons. Students began to synthesize beyond the basic meaning of the words on the page and embrace a deeper picture of the story that was being presented.

Arts for Learning is going to continue to implement the Arts for Learning lessons as the fall semester begins in after school programs around Indianapolis. Through these lessons and the techniques that the students gain, we are encouraging students to not only #ReadWhereTheyAre but to also #EnjoyReading.

July 30, 2015
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