Arts Education Month Toolkit

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May is Arts Education Month and our toolkit can help you get started with your outreach efforts. Below, access sample speaking points, letters, resolutions, and proclamations that help make it easy to connect with your district and community leaders.

  • AEM Speaking Points: Use the speaking points as a guide in preparing speeches, announcements, and other correspondence. They can also be used as posts on your social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to promote Arts Education Month.
  • AEM Sample Resolution Request to School Board Directors: Use this letter to request support of Arts Education Month through proclamation or resolution. When approaching your school board, the ideal time is in April and the best approach is to make your request in person. When attending a School Board meeting in person, try to bring a group and wear matching badges or carry folders with a message of “Arts Education Month” to show strength of support for your request.
  • AEM Sample Proclamation/Resolution: Add to or edit the resolution to suit your local community or School Board. Present along with the letter of request (above) or make your request in person at a School Board or City Council meeting, or personal meeting with your community leader(s).
  • AEM Sample Decision-Maker Invitation: Data is important and research studies can be persuasive, but nothing impacts a decision-maker like the power of watching “arts learning in action.” School Boards have the greatest impact on what happens for the students in your district. Inviting these decision-makers into the classroom is an important step in seeking their support and leadership in ensuring the ongoing provision of arts learning for every student in every school in your district.
  • AEM Sample Decision-Maker Thank You: Saying thank you is a crucial part of advocacy. Use this opportunity to recap the visit, position yourself as a resource, and to continue the conversation. This message can also be delivered in person during the public comment section of a school board meeting. It will then be heard by all other attendees and be recorded in the meeting minutes. Bringing some students – armed with art work and hand written thank you notes adds significantly to the impact.
  • AEM Sample Press Release: Send the press release to your local community paper. You may also consider inviting a local reporter to come to your event.  Ideally, newspapers like events that can provide good photo opportunities.  Follow up with your local paper after sending the press release to inquire about their interest/attendance.  If they are unable to come, offer to follow up with a high-resolution photo and details on what happened during the event.
  • Arts Education Month Logos: Use these logos in your letters and programs and on your website to show your support for Arts Education Month. Right click your preferred logo size and click “Save Image As”.

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Arts Education Month is made possible with the support and partnership of
 

Arts Education Month is also supported, in part, by a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission (now also known as “ArtsWA”) and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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    • ArtsEd Washington Presents PAL Success at National Title I Conference

      Title I panel

      2014: At the National Title I Conference in San Diego in early February, ArtsEd Washington presented on using the arts to improve student and school success with a panel of principals who used ArtsEd Washington’s Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) program to transform their own Title I schools. The Title I program aims to bridge the achievement gap between low-income students and other students by providing supplemental federal funding to underachieving schools to meet the needs of at-risk students.

      Three principals shared their experiences working with the PAL program in Title I schools including Tracye Ferguson (formerly of Franklin Elementary and now Director of Title I/Early Learning for Tacoma Public Schools), Alan Matsumoto (Garfield Elementary in Yakima), and Farah Thaxton (formerly of Madrona K-8 in Seattle). ArtsEd Washington Executive Director Una McAlinden moderated the panel as they offered their leadership perspective and insights on how arts learning and specifically the PAL program has helped them improve their schools and can impact students and schools statewide. The session was introduced with pride by Gayle Pauley, Title I Director of Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

      “Integrating arts education strategies in reading, mathematics, and the sciences is having a positive impact on the achievement of students who are struggling academically. Title I, Part A programs are demonstrating how this integration has a positive impact on student achievement,” said Pauley. “I am a musician myself and know first-hand the impact arts education has on student success.”

      Like many other schools across Washington State, Garfield, Madrona, and Franklin have used the PAL program to grow their arts capacities, impacting overall academic success, school culture, and student/family engagement. The panel shared their experiences in building effective arts plans, visions, and real world tactics to turn their schools into vibrant, successful places for their students to engage and learn. The session also covered tangible strategies to advance this instructional change and demonstrated a simple infrastructure for team-building, vision development, and planning for student success.

      “Including the arts in the school day improves student engagement, academic achievement, attendance, graduation rates, and overall success,” commented McAlinden. “The fact that our session was chosen for this national conference demonstrates the growing understanding among education leaders that the arts are a path to both student and school success.”

      The goal of the PAL program is to empower schools to create the fundamental systemic change that will ensure that the arts play a vital role in a complete education for all students, now and for years to come. PAL trains principals, as instructional leaders in all areas of curriculum, to expand their own capacities in arts leadership, to develop arts teams, visions, and plans, and to implement concrete strategies to integrate and sustain arts instruction for every student in every school.

      Thaxton’s experience at Madrona K-8, where more than three quarters of the students fall below the poverty line, demonstrated the remarkable impact of arts learning.  Citing more confident, engaged, and perseverant students at Madrona (which had limited arts offerings before she began work with the PAL program), Thaxton observes that the climate and culture of the school were transformed by the arts. She also sings the praises of the professional development she received through the program.

      Notes Thaxton, “It was one of the most focused professional development experiences I’ve had as a principal. PAL brought everybody’s voice together and was a key strategy in our success.”

      ArtsEd Washington is currently in the process of revamping the PAL program to be implemented at a district-wide level instead of the slower school-by-school approach. As part of the Creative Advantage, Seattle Public Schools has just begun implementation of PAL in its Central Pathway and will continue rollout to the whole district over the next few years.

      For more information, call 206-441-4501 or email office@artsedwashington.org