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Arts, Care & Connection

The artwork of student Ava Russell, 11th grade, Lincoln High School


This month we have the privilege of learning from ALNW The Right Brain Initiative Director, Kim, who shares Arts, Care & Connection program highlights with us in her words below.  Enjoy!


ALNW is proud to be partnering with the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon’s Well-Rounded Courses Grant Program (WRAP) to expand access to well-rounded courses for K-5 students with a focus on STEAM and arts-specific content.  The foundation of this project is almost 100 art lessons designed for K-5 students integrating Transformative Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) content in the areas of dance, visual arts, theater, and music.  The lessons are designed for classroom teachers to supplement their curriculum, with training included in the basic elements of these four art areas.  


Personally, I am so excited to be part of ODE’s first big roll out of the arts standards in Oregon.  Many of us in arts education have been dreaming of a day like today when students around the state have equitable access to arts programming.  And the timing couldn’t be any better with the current social emotional needs of our students.  The arts allow students to make meaning of their world, while developing skills in the transformative SEL standards.


This summer we assembled a Design Team with educators and teaching artists from around Oregon, as well as an Advisory Committee, to help us develop and review our plans.  The lessons will provide tools for teachers to address Oregon’s newly adopted SEL framework as well as the Core Art Standards.  The art lessons will also contain diverse representation of artists, artwork and examples of art traditions that are found around Oregon.


During the 2023-24 school year, we’ll be creating the lessons and working in three pilot school districts:  Hillsboro, Hood River County and Parkrose.  Then, in the 2024-25 school year, the arts-integrated lessons will be available to every K-5 educator in the state!  Talk about our goal of making the arts abundantly accessible in schools and communities!


Another exciting component of this project is providing professional development for educators statewide!  We have been offering teacher training on integrating the arts for many years through The Right Brain Initiative, and now we have the opportunity to serve teachers across our region.  If you are interested in taking part in Arts, Care & Connection professional learning, and to learn when our arts integration lessons are live online, hit the yellow subscribe button at the bottom right to stay in touch!   


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