Community Engagement

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  • 1.  Paint the Town Red

    Posted 07-29-2022 08:24 AM
    Often when we think of community engagement our minds immediately go to food pantries, community gardens, politicians and career day.  I challenge you to think about the arts!  I have a great love for the arts, enjoy making music, and painting, and though I am a horribe dancer I love watching others show off their skills.  The kids in your school have natural abilities in these areas.  Find ways to tap into your community and make connections!  Here are some quick ideas:
    • Field trips - to art museums, theater productions, music recording studios
    • Invite artists to the classroom - Have them give a lesson on art technique, music theory, dance doesn't have to be in art class!
    • Borrow a local artist's piece - have them teach the students the technique they use and then have the students try it.  A great way to tie this together is to then have an art show and put all of the pieces on display
    • In a similar fashion - have a local dancer featured in your school performances or have them teach the students a cultural piece to perform
    • Reach out to your local governance office and ask if the students can sing at the next town/city counsel meeting
    • In the fall have the kids go to a local mall (strip malls work best) and paint the store fronts with fall scenes! (With permission of course)
    • Don't forget the unconventional or lost art forms (cake decorating, crochetting, knitting, lace making, quilting, chalk art, sculpting, caligraphy, Eco-art, Origami....)

    I encourage you to let the kids get out of their seats and "Paint the town red!"

    How have you connected with your community through the arts?

    Trisha Leitem
    Assist. Director of School Services
    Fort Lauderdale

  • 2.  RE: Paint the Town Red

    Posted 09-07-2022 05:46 PM
    The suggestions for connecting with the community through the arts is a great idea!  Often times, arts programs are the first to be cut from schools due to financial constraints.  However, the positive impacts of including the arts in schools have been shown through several research studies.  Arts allow for students to gain new skill sets, explore the talents they already have as well as have a positive way to release stress and anxiety that they may face throughout the school day as well as in their home environments.

    By partnering with community resources, schools can bring the arts into schools through businesses that may volunteer their time or provide classes or lessons at a reduced cost.  Many museums and libraries offer free tours and activities that students and schools can participate in. The suggestion of having the students' art on display or providing a showcase, is also a great way to not only increase student participation in the arts but it also helps increase parent engagement.  Parents love to see their child's talents on display...I know I do!! 

    Thank you for sharing the suggestions of ways to use the community to help students Paint the Town Red!!

    Christine Mentis
    Services Manager
    Charter Support Unit