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News & Calendar  


Artist Residencies in Schools Grant
Garden of Learning

AIR at Ernest Barka ElementaryWinter is the perfect time to start thinking about projects for spring. An inspiring model is an FY 2013 Artist Residencies in Schools grant to the Ernest Barka Elementary School in Derry. The grant provided matching funds for educators and students to work with Laura Campbell, a Peterborough teaching artist and landscape designer, to create an artistically researched and designed garden that officially opened in June 2013.

The project provided students an opportunity to integrate the arts with a variety of disciplines and advanced the STEM to STEAM concept in the school’s curriculum. STEM to STEAM adds the “A” for arts into curriculum that is based in science, technology, engineering, and math. The 3-D garden model by studentmovement, which is being championed by the Rhode Island School of Design and other educational institutions, maintains that quality learning experiences in the arts during the school day nurtures creativity that benefits engagement in all other subject areas.

Barka Elementary School’s butterfly garden project required skills from many disciplines including counting, measuring, researching, listening, sequencing, sketching and painting. It also enabled teachers to address the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by developing curricular units that cognitively engage students through exercises such as creating 2-D and 3-D models during the planning of the garden. Additional benefits of the project included allowing students with varying learning styles to be engaged in learning in new and unexpected ways.

Butterfly garden


Artist Residencies in Schools (AIR) grants provide partial funding to bring juried teaching artists into classrooms and public schools for support of quality arts learning, and development of creative skills in the arts. For more information on AIR grants and NHSCA’s Roster of teaching artists contact Catherine O’Brian.


Last updated: January 6, 2014

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