By Barbara Ann Temple, Vice President, Education
Charlotte is a special city, surrounded by six incredible towns, and supported by generous individuals. No one knows better about the philanthropic attitude of Charlotte and her neighboring towns than the Arts & Science Council (ASC) and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS).
Thanks to a community that places education as a priority and backs that commitment with financial giving, a new Cultural Education Partnership was formed last year. Working collaboratively, ASC and CMS joined forces with the arts, science, and history community to provide learning experiences both within and outside of classrooms for teachers, students, and principals. The 2011-2012 school year reopened doors of cultural education to thousands of students, and in some cases, threw open wide new doors of cultural opportunities and partnerships
For all those who like to know how their dollars link to learning, here are some examples of how you have made a difference in education this year alone.
Field trips have been restored and provided experiences this year to more than 40,000 students. The Taradiddle Players visited elementary schools with a performance of Cinderella. Third grade students traveled to one of four historic sites: Hezekiah Alexander House, James K. Polk State Historic Site, Historic Latta Plantation or Historic Rosedale Plantation. Fifth graders experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the Romare Bearden collection at the Mint Museum. Sixth grade students engaged in hands-on science learning at Discovery Place. Charlotte Children’s Theatre visited eighth grade students with Liars, a performance that taught coping strategies for situations involving substance abuse.
Targeted teacher professional development was also offered. For example, 250 visual art teachers from across the district learned firsthand about Romare Bearden’s lifetime achievements and artistic talents. Using their experiential professional development, these same teachers supported fifth grade teachers and students who attended the field trip to the Mint Museum.
Principals in their early careers experienced creative leadership development at the Innovation Institute at the McColl Center for Visual Art. Utilizing the lessons learned in creative thinking, problem solving and leadership, participating principals developed the foundation for their fifth year Capstone project that will reflect how they dare to be different in instructional leadership.
Your dollars have also made a direct impact on after school programs as well as upcoming summer programs. Literally thousands of students have learned how to play instruments, paint collages, throw pots, tell stories through the arts, sing a cappella,dance to their own beat, negotiate the digital world, and so much more.
Inspired by your commitment to making a mark on the lives of students, teachers, and principals, ASC and CMS will remain steadfast in making sure the bridge between traditional classrooms and the cultural sector remain steel strong and ever growing.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcRVZjPVe1o]