Celebrating a year of arts in education successes
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A short clip from the inspirational holiday performance at JHS 162K

It's the time of year for student holiday performances, exhibits, and presentations. Days of preparation, jitters as the doors open, and then joyous smiles all around.

It is this joyfulness that is at the core of arts learning and The Center for Arts Education's mission. The arts unleash students' creativity and build self-confidence, often driving success in other subjects.

Today, we're asking for you to help us create joy for more public school children in more neighborhoods, to help more school leaders integrate the arts into the school day, and to expand our work educating policy makers on the value of arts in education.

As you plan your year-end giving, please consider a tax-deductible donation to The Center for Arts Education.

We wish you a joyful holiday season and thank you for your commitment to creative classrooms for all students!

Lori Sherman
Deputy Director

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English Language Literacy
Through the Arts

PS 503K Brooklyn

PS 503K in Brooklyn

In America, most children learn the alphabet through what has come to be known as “The Alphabet Song.” First copyrighted in 1835, it is perhaps the best anecdotal evidence of the power of the arts to teach the building blocks of language.

Today, improving English language skills through the arts is a priority at CAE. Our teaching artists partner with classroom teachers to develop lessons in visual arts, music, movement, and theater that are conceived to improve vocabulary, speaking, listening, and writing skills. In addition, students create their own related works in the visual and performing arts. At reflection sessions with our teaching artists, stories of students who grew from being quiet to engaged and articulate are common.

CAE's language and literacy programs serve adults, as well. In our Parents as Arts Partners program, teaching artist Charlie Adams recently led a raucous music and storytelling workshop with families. While supported by a Spanish and a Chinese translator, the power of the music and melody were evident as everyone soon learned to sing along in English.

The value of arts to language learning can be measured in more than anecdotal terms. A study from arts research firm WolfBrown found that K-8 English Language Learners who participated in Portland's Right Brain Initiative, an arts integration program, demonstrated a ten-fold improvement in reading and math scores.

ArtsEdge, The Kennedy Center’s online arts education resource, has similar good ideas for using arts to teach English. “In one college class, a professor challenged his students to dance DNA,” the blog explains. “The challenge was so successful that he said this particular class learned more about DNA than any other he had ever taught.”

CAE agrees that the arts are a powerful tool for teaching other subjects. Additionally, CAE maintains that the arts are a fundamental “way of knowing” comparable to other literacies that shape society’s understanding of the world.

One of our visual arts projects, for example, uses collage to illustrate where students’ families come from. It is both a way for students to practice an art form, and an opportunity to explore and strengthen individual identities. Presentations and discussions of their work foster understanding of the diverse traditions, values, and beliefs represented.

Arts-integrated activities such as these involve imagination, creativity, and critical thinking, motivating students to learn and use the English language.


Staff Assembling ELLA bags
In November, friends and family joined CAE staff in filling 1,300 backpacks with arts supplies for students in our English language learning programs.

Arts and Language PD
Educators participate in a professional learning workshop on how to use the arts to improve literacy skills for English Language Learners.

Download CAE's Annual Report

CAE's new Arts Education Parent Advocacy Toolkit is already a big hit!

Released last month, this free resource provides parents, educators, and community members with useful tips and strategies for expanding arts education opportunities in their schools.

The toolkit covers topics ranging from fundraising and engaging school leaders and elected officials to supporting the arts at home, and more.  

View it online and download it for free at artsedtoolkit.org.

Arts Education in the News

On December 10, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, a reauthorization and amendment of the No Child Left Behind act.

This is a significant accomplishment for many reasons, among them the renewed commitment to arts in education. The bill sustains funding for a distinct art in education program, and it defines the arts and music as among the subjects necessary for a student to receive a "well-rounded education." It also includes support for the inclusion of arts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curricula.

More information, including details about the largely bi-partisan support that led to the signing, are available on the National Arts Education Association's website here.

As NAEA notes, this is not a state or local mandate. "It is clear that local efforts to determine access to the arts will be required."

Calling All Teaching Artists!

The Center for Arts Education (CAE) seeks Teaching Artists in Music, Dance, Visual Art and Digital Media.
All applicants must be familiar with the New York City Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts and the Common Core Learning Standards. Teaching artists proficient in multiple languages are especially encouraged to apply.

For a list of qualification requirements and application instructions, please visit our online job posting.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, January 8.


The Center for Arts Education
266 West 37th Street 9th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212.971.3300  |  Fax: 212.268.5266  |  communications@caenyc.org

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