Through the past several years the Warren City Schools has partnered with Any Given Child and the Kennedy Center to bring more arts experiences for students in Kindergarten through eighth grades. This year through Any Given Child and working with the SMARTS organization (Students Motivated by the Arts) we will continue to provide these art opportunities throughout the district.
In four classrooms students experience Beats and Empowers programming. This allows students with special needs the opportunity to build social-emotional and fine motor skills through the arts and to make core content learning tangible through a creative process in collaboration with the teachers.
We will pilot a program called Early SMARTS in two classrooms in Warren City School’s early childhood programs to provide a Reggio Emilia approach to learning that engages students in open-ended creative play that is supported by research on brain development in children.
The goal of bringing artists from SMARTS in to work with the teachers in order to collaborate with Warren City School teachers to adapt lessons in the WCS curriculum from a traditional instructional approach to an arts integrated instructional approach. Two PK-8 buildings will receive a visual art teaching artist, one building will receive a theater teaching artist and one a music teaching artist.
As a district we are also utilizing a percussion-based learning program for students with developmental and behavioral challenges. This program uses hand drums and other percussion instruments to engage students by promoting academic learning, increasing musical knowledge, fostering a sense of community, and developing pride, confidence and satisfaction. Originally developed as a pilot project in 2011, SMARTS Beats centers on four goals:
- Promote academic learning through unconventional/alternative techniques.
- Increase musical knowledge, understanding, and appreciation.
- Foster a sense of teamwork and community.
- Develop students’ sense of pride, confidence and satisfaction.
Warren City Schools preschool teachers will work along side Early SMARTS teachers with lessons that will engage students in visual art, music, dance, or theater, depending on the teaching artist present at the Warren City School site for Arts Integration. This aligns with our current curriculum being used in each of our Warren City Schools preschool classrooms.