Last week, the first grade team was awarded a generous grant from The Work of Art, a local non-profit organization committed to increasing funding for arts education in public schools. The Work of Art was established to support the integration of arts education back into classrooms across the country after recent budget cuts, and currently focuses on the needs of Detroit schools. They are passionate about giving students access to exceptional arts education, and note positive academic effects, such as improved understanding of math and science and an overall increase in brain activity that are correlated with incorporating the arts. Arts education also builds students' self esteem, critical thinking, and problem solving. The Work of Art is truly preparing our kids for success beyond this year and cultivating 21st century learners and leaders. Our partnership with The Work of Art means exciting things for our first graders--students will be designing quilt squares for our class "snake pillows," creating visual displays about snake habitats, features and behaviors, and (my personal favorite) making digital, scientifically accurate artwork of their chosen breed of snake to include in our final, published book on snakes. I can't wait to see the impact that this has on our students' understanding of snakes, as well as their lifelong appreciation for the arts!
A heartfelt THANK YOU to The Work of Art!