Arts Matter!

Propel CreativeArts offers students quality arts experiences that are student-focused, integrated with other academic subjects, and teach the value of arts and cultures, utilizing partnerships with local artists and arts organizations.

Propel School's enduring commitment to provide quality arts education enables students to 
discover new talents and skills, become innovative and creative thinkers, and build self-confidence.  
Propel empowers students to become academically and artistically accomplished young men and women 
who are poised, curious, and disciplined.  
By offering focused learning in the arts, 
Propel not only gives children something to dream about 
                                                    . . . but a method to get there.


From the HeART

"From the HeART" is a video series that features how students find their passion in the arts and how it affects their lives. 


Each segment highlights one student from one of the eight Propel K - 8 Schools. To tell the child’s story, parents, teachers, principals, artists, and other students will add their perspective on how the arts have played a positive role in this child’s life.  


From the HeART shows how CreativeArts helps students find their passion.  


Our pilot episode features Hannah Williams from Propel Braddock Hills Elementary School.


CreativeArts

Inspire.  Create.  Explore.


 



Why Study the Arts in Schools?
ARTS MATTER!


Propel CreativeArts offers students quality arts experiences that are student-focused, integrated with other academic subjects, and teach them the value of arts and cultures, utilizing partnerships with local artists and arts organizations


The Propel CreativeArts Program provides students with a wide array of fine arts classes as an essential, required part of the core curriculum.  The variety in arts programming provides an excellent way to tap into children’s multiple intelligences and gives the students an opportunity to express themselves through words, visual arts, music, drama or dance.  All students receive instruction from the best professional artists in the Pittsburgh area who collaborate with Propel's full-time certified Music and Art teachers.   Teaching artists are in residency at Propel for twelve-week trimesters. Students receive one hour of arts instruction per day throughout the entire school year.   Students also elect to participate in band or string ensemble and semi-private instrumental lessons.  Each CreativeArts module culminates in a “Celebration of Learning” where students showcase their accomplishments.  These assemblies are ways for students to showcase achievements in the arts, as well as gain valuable experience and confidence in performing in front of an audience.


In its first year at Propel, the CreativeArts program offered Pennsylvania Shotokan Karate Club, a prominent dojo in Western Pennsylvania, ledby Dustin Baldis, Olympic Gold Medalist and current head coach.  LeQuay Willis (pictured right) is a student at Propel Montour.  After being introduced to Karate through the six-course, she became intrigued.  She enrolled in the program at PSKC, continuing her education every Saturday.  She has been taking lessons continuously since 2007.   

As of 2012, She has competed in two national tournaments.  She won gold in her very first tournament as as a brown belt.  In her second tournament,  she competed as a brown belt in the black-belt level.  She surprised everyone by taking the bronze medal.  She has now received her second brown belt and will work toward her first black belt by next year.  

Students like LeQuay embody the impact of Propel’s fully valued arts program. 


Theater:

“Theatre Education is an interdisciplinary art form that satisfies the human need to express thoughts and feelings through written text, dramatic interpretation and
multimedia production.”

Pennsylvania Department of Education 

– Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities1



Theater studies at Propel Schools teach students how to know and use the elements and principles of theater to create works of art. Theater classes teach students to identify the  types of theater, expectations of directors, and appropriate behaviors as a member of an audience.  Students also learn about the benefits of a rigorous rehearsal 

process in the forming of a quality production.  Propel provides opportunities for students to see professional theater outside of the school.  Each piece of theater

, whether studied in class, or shown outside of class, connects with human senses and 

emotions. Students learn how to appreciate and respect theater as both an art form and a learning tool, which can be used across other academic areas such as language arts, math, science, and geography.  Students learn from professional artists from prominent Pittsburgh theatrical organizations such as Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh CLO, and Stage Right of Greensburg.


Dance:

 “Dance Education is a kinesthetic art form that satisfies the human need to respond to

life experiences through movement of the physical being.”

Pennsylvania Department of Education – Academic Standards for the Arts and Humanities1


In dance classes, students gain movement experiences that promote fitness and strength training.  Students learn about the body, what it does and how it functions. Students become aware of how to create and conserve energy. They learn about tension, relaxation, strength and weakness.  They become familiar with their bodies so they can better master them.  Students learn about dances from other cultures and time periods and how dance has changed throughout history.  Students learn from professional artists such as Staycee Pearl Dance Company, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and Studio J Dance.

















  






CreativeArts Calendar




PROOF:  THE POWER OF ARTS EDUCATION

“The arts can help students become tenacious, team-oriented problem-solvers who are confident and able to think creatively. These qualities can be especially important in improving learning among students from economically disadvantaged circumstances.”

- U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan


The arts are effective tools for giving students the groundwork and framework to be well-rounded individuals.  The proof is in the research:  The arts improve academic performance, help students to stay in school, and give them the needed skills to become 21st Century learners.2

Below are just a few of many research reports done on the effectiveness of arts in schools:


1.  Staying In School: Arts Education & NYC High School Graduation Rates3

Data gathered from more than 200 New York City schools over a two-year period showed that schools in the top third of graduation rates offered students the most access to arts education and the most resources to support arts education. 
Schools in the bottom third in graduation rates consistently offer the least access and fewest resources. These findings suggested that increasing students’ access to arts instruction in schools with low graduation rates can be 
a successful strategy for raising graduation rates and turning around struggling schools nationwide.4

There were nine key indicators that conveyed a school’s commitment to arts education.  Propel’s arts programming meets all nine of these key indicators:

    • Certified Arts Teachers
    • Dedicated Arts Classrooms
    • Appropriately Equipped Arts Classrooms
    • Arts and Cultural Partnerships
    • External Funds to Support the Arts
    • Coursework in the Arts
    • Access to Multiyear Arts Sequence
    • School Sponsorship of Arts Participation
    • School Sponsorship of Arts Field Trips


2.  Students Studying Arts are Frequently Recognized for Higher Achievement5

According to research conducted between 1987 and 1998, students who studied the arts consistently were:

    • 4 times more likely to have been 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
3.  Learning and Innovation Skills are Powerful Tools Learned in the Arts 6

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills believe new teacher candidates must be equipped with 21st century knowledge and skills and learn how to integrate them into their classroom practice for our nation to realize its goal of successfully meeting the challenges of this century.  

Learning and innovation skills are being increasingly recognized as skills that separate students who are prepared for a more complex life and work environment in the 21st century, from those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.


Propel School's enduring commitment to provide quality arts education enables students to 
discover new talents and skills, become innovative and creative thinkers, and build self-confidence.  
Propel empowers students to become academically and artistically accomplished young men and women 
who are poised, curious, and disciplined.  
By offering focused learning in the arts, Propel not only gives children something to dream about, but a method to get there. 

_____________________________________

1 Pennsylvania Department of Education – Academic Standards for Arts and Humanities: Introduction

2    Americans for the Arts Research Study
http://www.artsusa.org/pdf/get_involved/advocacy/research/2007/artseducation.pdf
3    “The Status of Arts Education in NYC Schools”, Arts Education Partnership
http://www.cae-nyc.org/arts-education-report/executive_summary
4   “The Status of Arts Education in NYC Schools”, Arts Education Partnership
http://www.cae-nyc.org/arts-education-report/endnotes#3
5   Dr. Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University, for Carnegie Foundation for The Advancement of Teachinghttp://www.americansforthearts.org/NAPD/files/9603/Living%20the%20Arts%20Through%20Language%20and%20Learning%20(November%20'98).pdf
6   21st Century Skills, Learning and Innovation Skills, p. 10