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CSA, MCS will bring arts, literacy together next school year at Kendall

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Kendall Elementary School will have an exciting new program next school year thanks to a partnership with the Marion Community School of the Arts!

The Community School of the Arts has been awarded a $10,000 Partnering Arts, Communities, and Education (PACE) grant from the Indiana Arts Commission for the program that will integrate arts and literacy education.

The Community School of the Arts, partnering with Marion Community Schools, collaborated with Director of Elementary Education Michele Smith to determine which individual school would best fit the program.

"We are excited about this opportunity to integrate arts and literacy," Smith said. "We are thankful for our many community partnerships, and in particular our wonderful relationship with CSA that allows us to provide enriching experiences for our students. One particularly exciting piece of this grant-funded program is that we will be able to track how literacy is improved through this arts integration."

Kendra Hoffert, artist teacher, Indiana Wesleyan University visiting assistant professor of music therapy, and Community School of the Arts faculty member, will lead the program within the classroom. She will partner with administrators and faculty at Kendall Elementary School to provide teacher development as well as weekly sessions with second grade students utilizing song, rhythm exercises, chants, rhymes, and movement to explore music and its benefits in developing early literacy skills.

“I love music and good stories,” Hoffert said. “To be able to combine two things I love while encouraging young people to discover the riches of these good gifts will be such an adventure. I'm so grateful to be part of this program and to see where our learning and discovery can take us.”

The PACE program was established during 2014 as an initiative to promote arts education and impact student growth and achievement. The program is intended to assist and enable elementary schools, artists, and arts organizations in establishing long-term, in-depth, and sustainable partnerships. Arts experiences occur at regular intervals throughout the entire school year, align with the academic curriculum, and are integrated into classroom literacy activities.

The Community School of the Arts, Marion Community Schools, and Hoffert, as resident artist teacher, will implement the program, developed with quality musicianship, intentional curriculum, and comprehensive collaboration. This program, having been made possible by funds appropriated from the Indiana Legislature in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, will provide arts integration opportunities into the classroom, with a focus on literacy, and a goal to increase long-term partnerships and collaborations.

“The Community School of the Arts has a vision to ignite a community of potential through arts and creativity, and a mission to provide arts education and enrichment,” said Katie Morgan, executive director of the Community School of the Arts. “When we develop programming, these are at the core of who we are and what we do. The PACE program is a wonderful opportunity to further expand our outreach in music, and have a real, measurable impact in music, literacy, and most importantly, the lives of children in our community through the arts.”

The Community School of the Arts will represent Region 5 in this statewide program. The Indiana Regional Arts Partner representing Region 5 is the Community Foundation of Randolph County, and region liaison Stephanie Ward said of the recent award:

“The Community Foundation of Randolph County is very excited that the Marion Community School of the Arts has been selected to represent Region 5 in the PACE program. We are equally excited for the students at Kendall Elementary who will benefit from the music and literacy program.”