Spotlight: Arts For ELL+SWD at CIS 303X
It has been a busy fall at Arts Horizons with the successful launch of several arts education residencies with our partner schools receiving the NYCDOE’s “Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities” grant. Under this initiative, participating schools “receive funding to create new or expand existing partnerships with arts and cultural organizations with experience serving English Language Learners (ELLs) and/or Students with Disabilities (SWD).” This is Arts Horizons’ fourth season participating in this initiative, and we have announced our 10 partner schools for this academic year in a previous post.
Arts Horizons will periodically spotlight one of our partner schools in a series of posts featuring the wonderful work of our incredible teaching artists. We start with our newest partner – CIS 303X: The Leadership and Community Service Academy in the Bronx. Arts Horizons program coordinator Kiran Rajagopalan recently visited IS 303X to attend a session of longtime AH teaching artist Judy Richardson’s set design residency. Let’s see how Judy, a noted sculptor who built the giant peaches in “James and the Giant Peach,” shared her expertise with students at CIS 303X!
CIS 303X is the first middle school in New York to receive a Disney Musicals in Schools grant, and students were hard at work creating two set pieces for a production of “Alice in Wonderland” that premieres in March 2018. One group of students were in the auditorium with Judy creating large, cardboard rose bushes to be placed in front of the surreal forest backdrop they had created a few weeks ago. Judy instructed them to first apply primer to the cardboard in order to prevent it from absorbing paint and shriveling up.
Back in the classroom, another group of students were fully engrossed in painting large panels for the maze in the Queen of Heart’s castle. Such seamless coordination between the two groups of students was only possible because of the total cooperation and involvement of Ms. Emily Perez, CIS 303X’s dynamic visual arts teacher. Both Judy and CIS 303X’s principal Ms. Patricia Bentley expressed their satisfaction with how this arts education program is proceeding.
We would like to thank Ms. Bentley, Ms. Perez, Ms. Cookie, and all of the faculty and staff at CIS 303X for their incredible support and for so warmly welcoming us into their programs. We hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership for years to come! Stay tuned for more spotlights on our other partner schools…