www.gae.org | 17 Ms. O’Brien also discussed the unique offerings of Arts for Learning, formerly known as Young Audiences. The organization is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center, with headquarters located in Atlanta, Georgia. Their mission is clearly defined: “…to transform the lives and learning of young people through the arts.” Professional teaching artists bring the arts to students at their respective schools and community centers, providing an ability to learn through workshops and performances in music, dance, theatre, and visual, literary and media arts. The primary focus is to enhance literacy skills in grades K though 12, with programs tailored to the appropriate age groups and also aligning with the standards set by Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Arts for Learning’s programs start with the youngest of academics in grades K and 1, aptly named smART stART. The students focus on retelling a story in all parts – beginning, middle and end, and learning the narrative components of the story. Students participate in group reading activities developed using arts-integrated strategies, with educators having the choice of dance, music, theatre or visual arts as the focus of their school’s program. The next stage, Arts for Learning Lessons, is designed for students in grades 2 through 8 to enhance student competency and achievement in reading and writing. The classroom teachers are given instruction on how to use artsintegrated instructional strategies, which are then utilized within the classroom. Once the classroom teacher completes his or her lessons, an Arts for Learning artist visits the students in-class throughout a five-session residency. These students also have an ‘Extended Learning Experience’ option which allows for a visit to various divisions of the Woodruff Arts Center (Alliance Theatre, High Museum, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) to experience the arts in person. Grades 6 through 12 are able to take a hands-on approach to learning with Digital Storytelling. Students work side-by-side with a teaching artist to participate in the creative process from start to finish. Each student creates a three-to-five minute digital story using images, text, audio, interactive illustrations and music.
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