Parks and Recreation Home
Arts & Culture Home
Arts & Economy
Arts & Education
Clearwater Arts Alliance
Partners & Art Links
Public Art & Design Program
Sister Cities Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Parks and Recreation
Arts & Culture - Arts & Education
January 27, 2012 - The Hoffman Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall hosted a dedication of a new and exciting work by artist Kevin Reese, and students of Skycrest Elementary.
Friends of the PASSport program, Skycrest Elementary and the community at large gathered in front of the school for a moving and inspiring portrait of arts-infused education in action.
This piece is the culmination of a week-long residency by Mr. Reese at Skycrest, in which students will create an permanent, moving sculpture that embodies the ideas of empowered learning in and through the arts.
For more examples of Mr. Reese's works across the nation, please check out his website at www.schoolsculptures.com.
Click to View Larger Image
Did You Know?
Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three
days each week for at least one full year are:
- 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
- 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
- 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
- 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
- 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
- makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child
and has proven to help level the "learning field" across socio-economic
(Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary
School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School
of Education & Information
Studies, UCLA, Americans for the Arts Monograph, January 1998)
- has a measurable impact on youth at risk in deterring delinquent behavior
and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance
among those youth engaged in after school and summer arts programs targeted
toward delinquency prevention.
(YouthARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S.
Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and Americans
for the Arts)
Clearwater's Cultural Plan recognizes the importance of lifelong learning
in and through the arts. The Plan encourages collaborative partnerships
and advocacy for stronger arts programs in the school, such as the program
at Skycrest Elementary.
"A" is for the Arts!
Sheila Jaquish, the Principal at Skycrest Elementary School, recently received
good news. Once again, this 5 star school, whose focus is "success through
the arts", had received an "A" rating.
When looking at the national averages for a school with a high minority population
and where most of the students receive free or reduced lunch, various challenges
might be anticipated. Surpassing the statistical expectations, these students
are academically thriving!
What's making the difference at Skycrest? The administration and teaching
staff credit the arts as being one of the key factors that's providing
the exceptional results in academic achievement. At Skycrest, learning
is enhanced through the visual and performing arts, challenging students in
new and exciting ways. Teaching content through an interdisciplinary
approach enables students to make connections between subjects and provides
opportunities for creative self-expression. Arts experiences bring powerful
meaning to math, science, language and social studies concepts by engaging
emotions as well as intellect in real-life, hands-on experiences. In
this Arts-infused school, families, teachers and administrators work together
to provide a program rich with educational possibilities for young people. And
community partners provide a valuable resource.
Skycrest Elementary has a unique partnership with the Marcia
P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Students experience arts-infusion
in the classroom and curriculum-infusion in the arts. Intensive visits from
Artists in Residence allow every grade level to grasp academic concepts through
arts learning styles. The PASSPORT to the Arts Program, created by Educational
Director Joyce Bonomini Wehner, mentors the teachers as well, which benefits
the curriculum and encourages the arts in the every day life of the school.
Professional music performances that tour Ruth Eckerd
Hall are often brought
to the campus so students see performances throughout the year. The
Florida Orchestra also sends musicians to the school.
Additional community partners got involved this year with the school's
annual arts fundraiser, entitled "Night of the Arts" which was
co-sponsored by the Clearwater Arts Alliance, the Pinellas County Cultural
Affairs Department, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Dunedin Fine Arts Center, and the City
of Clearwater Division of Cultural Affairs. The evening featured artist
demonstrations, a choral and orchestra showcase and a student art auction. Funds
raised during this event benefited the school's art program.
Indeed, this arts infusion formula seems to be working for the students at
Skycrest. They are an "A" rated school: "A" for
arts and "A" for academics that top the charts.