Inspiring Teachers through the Arts
Inspiring teachers and teacher retention is one of the top priorities of administrations regarding educational sustainability. How do you inspire teachers to stay in a profession that demands high accountability, ongoing evaluations, overwhelming amounts of after-hours work, and an incredible dedication of emotional energy that can drive you to near exhaustion? To battle the uphill struggle that comes with a teaching career, this summer, Young Audiences of Virginia and Old Dominion University’s Darden College of Education are partnering to bring educators the expertise, inspiration and tools needed to help inspire teaching by using the arts in core curriculum. The Inspiring Teacher Through The Arts Institute is a two-day intensive with presentations from multiple session leaders, guests and experts in their fields. Our goal in presenting this Institute is to encourage teachers to utilize the arts as a tool to drive classroom learning in core curriculum. Reports show that children with high access to arts instruction have greater retention skills. In theater, drama and other performance arts, students have demonstrated improved emotional intelligence, timing, reflection, respect for diversity, and even higher SAT scores. So why not enhance classroom instruction with arts integrated techniques? Teachers are very conscious of their instructional time and they know what they can accomplish on their own. What they may not know is how much more they may accomplish with an arts infused lesson. With this Institute, YAV and ODU will offer teachers the tools to not only strengthen student retention and relevancy, but hopefully sustain teacher retention too. Rather than drill information into tired young minds, we ask and act on those intriguing questions that make learning interactive and fun. Look at this problem through dance, explore this piece of history through poetry or paint this geometry question. Suddenly math, science and history become active and relevant. We developed this Institute with the understanding that teachers and students want learning to be fun.
National Young Audiences Executive Director David Dik will serve as keynote speaker and you will hear from young author Adora Svitak who will attribute her success to dedicated teachers. Young Audiences of Virginia Teaching Artist Curtis Blues will perform the Delta Blues, teach fractions through guitar and explore literacy through the Blues. An inspiring reception for attendees on June 25th will be open for the public to purchase tickets to support arts in education.
The Inspiring Teachers through the Arts Institute will prove to be a refreshing, motivational and powerful experience for any educator serving Pre-K through 12. We hope to see you there. For more information or to register, call 757-683-4686.
Michael Kerry Williams,
Celebration of the Arts with the Children’s Museum of Virginia
Young Audiences-Arts for Learning-Virginia (YAV) celebrated 60 years of arts-in-education with the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth on Saturday March 14th. This collaborative family fun day was filled with performances by Young Audiences of Virginia artists, arts activities, and other educational entertainment for the family. Two professional development workshops were held for teachers, who were able to get into the event for free with a photo ID. YAV raffled off a free YAV program and the winner will be announced on March 31st. Stay tuned for more future collaborations with our friends at the Children’s Museum of Virginia!
National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week
March 15-21, 2015
“Art does not just reflect our Nation – it shapes it. The arts can test our assumptions, spark our curiosities, and drive us toward becoming a more perfect Union. By bringing art into classrooms…organizations like Young Audiences Arts for Learning ensure America’s traditions of creativity and expression are passed on to the next generation. Opening minds and fostering passions, groups like yours cultivate appreciation for art in all its forms and reveal its power to help young Americans re-imagine challenges not as barriers, but as creative opportunities.” – President Barack Obama
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has introduced a Resolution to the House of Representatives designating the week of March 15-21, 2015 as National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week (YA Week). This week will honor the contributions Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) has made to schools nationwide through its arts-in-education programs and to encourage Americans to recognize the important contribution the arts make to society. David A. Dik, YA’s National Executive Director states,”On behalf of the Young Audiences Arts for Learning network, I would like to thank The President and Congresswoman Slaughter for their support of Young Audiences Arts for Learning and the arts-in-education field.” YA Week is being observed across the country in 22 states by Young Audiences’ affiliates with special events, school activities, residencies, and performances promoting awareness of YA’s arts-in-education programs. #yaweek
Meet the YAV Interns!
The YAV staff has had the pleasure of working with three incredible young ladies from local universities in the Hampton Roads area, who have helped YAV staff accomplish our goal of making our 60th anniversary year a success. Lauren Jones, a student at Old Dominion University, has helped tremendously with public relations for the 60th Anniversary campaign. This has included drafting proclamations and reaching out to the media. Jasmine Khadrane is also a student at Old Dominion University. She is assisting our development department with sponsorship opportunities, special events, and other fundraising duties. Norfolk State University student Andrea Wilson, is using her graphic design skills to help with marketing materials for our programs, events, and other special projects. A huge thank you goes out to our interns! We are thankful for the numerous hours you put in to YAV and the support you have for our mission to inspire and engage students IN and THROUGH the arts!
From left to right: Lauren Jones, Jasmine Khadrane and Andrea Wilson
YAV’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Week
Throughout 2015, Young Audiences of Virginia will celebrate 60 years of providing high quality arts-in-education programming to students, teachers, parents, and communities across Virginia. The 60th celebration kicks off during National Young Audiences Week, March 15-21, 2015. Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, Virginia officially proclaimed March 15-21, 2015 as Young Audiences of Virginia’s 60th Celebration Week and extended his congratulations to YAV for celebrating 60 years of arts-in-education. Mayor Bowers proclamation is the second proclamation YAV received from a city mayor in Virginia. Mayor Paul Fraim of Norfolk and Governor Terry McAluiffe also proclaimed March 15-21, 2015 as YA Week.
There are many ways we will be reaching out to the community to get involved. Stay up to date with the celebration by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and yav.org!
From left to right: Mayor Bowers, Judy Clark, YAV’s Western Region Coordinator and YAV supporter Sam Darby
Arts for Learning in Norfolk: Literacy through Movement
My favorite thing about integrating the arts into education is watching children come alive. You see that spark in their eye return. You hear their curiosity rise as their questions become more pointed, detailed and multi-leveled. You watch as their spines elongate and they immediately become taller, moving, speaking and thinking with more confidence. I am currently teaching the Arts for Learning curriculum to third grade students at Tarrallton Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia. Young Audiences Arts For Learning, established in 1952, is the nation’s largest arts in education learning network, serving over 5 million children and youth each year in 8,984 schools and community centers across the country through its network of over 30 Young Audience’s affiliates.
As a teaching artist, I serve as a co-teacher with Suzanne Byman, the students’ regular teacher throughout the residency. Together, Suzanne and I are tackling student deficiencies in reading comprehension through movement and theater. Each class has the students up and moving, exploring their own personal range of motion in open space. Then we dive into a story. What does it feel like to dance a story? What does it feel like to hop in and out of characters? Our students can tell you. They create statues of key moments in stories to help identify and recall information about important characters, shifts in the plot, intentions and predictions. We act out the characters as if we’re living inside of their lives investing in their emotions, thoughts, intentions and goals. Our students are living inside of the story – moving, grooving and experiencing the words on paper. We have witnessed learning goals turn into a new foundation to push the students further and create new learning goals. We have watched as students desire to learn more and dive deeper into the story. Fostering this thirst for knowledge is the goal of any educator. As we continue to move through the Arts for Learning curriculum assessing student learning along the way, we are finding – over and over again – that the arts are here to inspire, encourage, develop and work hand-in-hand with educating our students. And it works. Every time.
YAV Arts Integration Director, YAV Teaching Artist