Bringing the Arts to MPUSD Classrooms
The MPUSD Fund for the Arts is a field of interest fund dedicated to bringing high quality arts education to every school in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School district. During the 2014-15 school year, the MPUSD Fund for the Arts supported two different approaches to enhancing arts programming:
Professional Artists in the Classroom
Arts Council for Monterey County‘s Professional Artists in the Classroom Program worked in 97 classrooms across 12 schools, reaching 2500 students. The program engaged 14 teaching artists, two interns, and six CSU Monterey Bay service learning volunteers, and culminated in 10 performances throughout the district.
Activities ranged from painting and drawing, to singing and songwriting, to musical theater and dance.
Teacher consistently noted the positive benefits for their students:
Through music students are developing confidence and the common experiences they share through music builds community spirit. – Lauren Park, Principal, Foothill Elementary
Students also shared how much they enjoyed having the arts brought into the classroom:
It’s the funnest, funnest thing I’ve done in my life! – Student, Marina Vista
Arts in the Classroom Grant Program
The MPUSD Fund for the Arts also supports individual teachers’ efforts to promote art in their classrooms through the Arts in the Classrooms Grant Program. Jill Oerman, a kindergarten teacher at JC Crumpton Elementary School, received a small grant to purchase watercolor supplies and hire a local artist to teach a lesson on Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of flowers.
The students carefully observed flowers provided for the lesson, experimented with the watercolors, and learned from each other. The teacher was ecstatic to be able to provide students with the supplies and guidance that they needed to develop a new skill.