We have enjoyed lively partnerships with six Boston Public Schools since ARCK began in 2011. ARCK selects its partner schools based on need for arts programming and Title I status, in which the majority of students come from low-income households. Currently, ARCK offers its core STEAM-infused arts integration program at the Blackstone Innovation School and Gardner Pilot Academy. We aim to expand to serve even more students, classrooms, and schools!
ARCK has been partnering with the Blackstone, located in the South End of Boston, for three years and has served almost 300 students there. Around 600 students attend Blackstone. For the 2016-17 school year, we are teaching in two 1st, two 2nd, and two 3rd grade classrooms as well as a classroom for K-5 students with multiple disabilities. ARCK held its first annual Parent Art Night at Blackstone last year, in which families were invited to view their children’s showcased work and celebrate their arts-integrated accomplishments. Blackstone’s motto is “Ubuntu,” an African term that means “I am what I am because of who we all are.”
This is ARCK’s fourth year at GPA, a full-service and inclusive community school serving 370 students in grades K1-8. GPA is located in the Boston neighborhood of Allston. For the 2016-17 school year, we are working with one 3rd grade class, a group of 5th and 6th graders, and two 7th grade humanities classes. In the spring of 2016, ARCK’s middle school students at GPA had the opportunity to create a large-scale public mural with Boston artist Mark Cooper, making their mark physically, visually, and creatively in their own local community of Boston. Entitled “I Am, We Are,” the mural showcases students’ exploration of their identities and multicultural communities and is located across from Fenway Park stadium in a space visible to an annual audience of three million.
During the 2015-16 school year, ARCK offered literacy and STEM-infused arts education to students at the EBEEC from pre-K to 2nd grade. The EBEEC is an early childhood level school with around 200 students, 70 percent of whom are English language learners. We taught a total of 88 students. A highlight of our program was a project within the Leadership Module in which students constructed their own 3D models of buildings to learn about architecture around the world.
The Tobin is an extended services K-8 school in Roxbury, MA. In 2013, we worked with 5th graders, incorporating learning themes and subject matter in our arts-based lessons in connection with their academic curriculum. Our classes enjoyed sharing about all of the cultures and different communities students identify with and making connections to new and different ones as well. A highlight of our program that year was discussing the Universal Doctrine of Human Rights and bringing in specific articles to each art lesson!
At Red Oak, ARCK ran an after-school program for 4th grade students from the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown during the 2014-15 school year. This program focused on STEAM (STEM + Art). Students used Minecraft in conjunction with technical drawing and exploration of design concepts through visual art exercises to expand on their understanding and capacity for math, science, technology, engineering and visual art skills!
The John F. Kennedy Elementary School, located in Jamaica Plain, serves approximately 400 students in grades K1-5. ARCK taught visual art classes to all 2nd and 3rd grade students over the course of the 2013-14 school year. Additionally, ARCK led an exciting collaborative project with MIT D-Lab students to incorporate technology and design into a 5th grade writing classroom.