What kind of meal has Green Beans and Shakespeare on the menu?
Not exactly a meal, but rather a feast. This “feast” for the senses takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7 at Saltar’s Point Elementary School.
As for the Bard and the vegetable connection—they’re two of many featured attractions on the school’s Arts Impact Gala.
It’s an evening of choreography, drama and art, marking the end of the 2005-06 school year. The June 7 Saltar’s Point (SP)program also includes a Gallery walk showcasing examples of student printmaking, oil pastel, collage, masks, mosaics, charcoal drawings and more.
“It’s our way of showcasing all that students have been learning about the arts during the past school year. It’s a way of educating students about the presence of art and its connection to all aspects of learning,” explained SP Principal Kristi Webster.
Now concluding the second year of this regional Arts Impact Program, it has become a school tradition, and includes the entire student body.
Saltar’s Point faculty and students are one of two Steilacoom Historical School District schools taking part in this program. The other is Chloe Clark Elementary School. One noteworthy aspect about the SHSD program is that it involves the entire school faculty.
Integrating arts into district schools’ curriculums began in 2003 after two Saltar’s Point teachers enrolled in summer programs offered through the Tacoma Art Museum and the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
Teachers Zelma Kallay and Louann Stalder were so enthusiastic about the summer session that they convinced fellow educators, and their principal, to incorporate this training program into the school’s curriculum. This year’s program marks the first that the entire SP faculty took part in the training. Training includes field trips to local professional arts events, and pairing educators with arts mentors.
“A whole school model, “ continues Barnum, “is an excellent model” where teachers share plans and incorporate the material into state learning requirements. Next year they will integrate math and art concepts. It’s a way of demonstrating to students how what they learn in the classroom meshes with “real life.”
To date there are 82 educators in 18 Pierce and King county schools participating in this program. The program reaches 2,050 students, according to Sybil Barnum, ESD Program Manager for the Arts Impact Program.
Funding to incorporate arts into school curriculum “comes from federal, state, corporate and private contributors,” Barnum added.
They include the Washington State Arts Commission, State Farm, the Forest Foundation, Boeing, U. S. Bank, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Local contributions come from the Town of Steilacoom and the Steilacoom Historical Education Foundation.
For more information about the Arts Impact Program visit the EDS website at www.arts-impact.org.
Submitted by Nancy Covert