By Intern, Raziyah Eure
February 10, 2016
Our Literacy Through the Arts Program is in full swing at both PS 15 and Hamilton Heights School. Literacy Through the Arts is an ongoing program which aims to increase kindergarten through second grade children’s literacy skills through a multi-arts curriculum focusing on movement, music and visual arts in order to improve their reading, writing and verbal expression.
I have had the pleasure kicking off the semester working with the 1st graders of Hamilton Heights, who are currently studying the story The Paper Bag Princess. The kids always enjoy starting Arts for All workshops with a song and dance warm-up.
The first week the children worked together to retell the story of The Paper Bag Princess, recalling what they could remember from the storyWas the story read aloud to them?. They then had the opportunity to act as some of their favorite characters in a mini play during rug time. Later they were able to finish their pictures that they drew of their favorite scene from the story, accompanying it with a sentence to describe what they drew. Many showed that they love the scenes with the dragon by depicting him blowing fire. In line with the Common Core, these activities would demonstrate the children’s understanding of the story’s message, and help them identify feelings that go with the words of the story.
The following week, the children were assigned their very own parts in a play version of The Paper Bag Princess. Many of the kids were enthusiastic to hear that they would be playing dragons and princesses.
We all then gathered at different tables of princesses, dragons, (and you cannot forget the prince), to do a read through of the script with the children. The children all very happily read the lines with much excitement and emotion when it got to their part. They found out by the end of the reading that they would have the opportunity to act it out in a play for other people to watch. Recounting the day, it was obvious that the students remembered the storyline clearly. One girl mentioned how she liked the part of the book where the princess tells the prince that just because he’s “dressed nice and has nice hair, he’s still a bum.” It was also great to see another student complimenting their classmate on how much they liked how the student read Prince Ronald’s lines.
I am looking forward to continuing to follow these students throughout this semester and to spending time with the 2nd Grade Literacy Through the Arts class as well!
January 25, 2016
by Raziyah Eure
Who am I?
My name is Raziyah Eure. I am a senior at Pace University-NYC campus. I am a full time student and active member on my campus. I am Communication Studies major. I am the Vice President of Black Student Union, and host a variation of other organizations on campus. I can be described as before my time and determined. I believe that the most important thing in life is to be happy.
Why do you feel Arts for all is a good fit for you?
I stumbled upon the organization Arts for All as I was looking for an internship. I had been looking through various organizations, but could not find one that I believed I could really advocate for. When I came across Arts for All, it drew me in because of the way they worked to advocate for children to create a better life for them. Using the arts to instill values in children, I think is the best way and most enjoyable tactic to get through to children who live in underserved communities. Also they give children the opportunity to participate in these arts programs that a lot of public schools no longer offer.
What is your connection with arts?
If anyone really knows me they know I LOVE Old School R&B music, basically anything before my time. I got the opportunity to see my favorite artist Stevie Wonder not once, but twice in concert. If I’m not listening to him you can catch me jamming out to some Jazz music. I luckily got the chance to go visit the roots of Jazz in good ole New Orleans, visiting any and every place that had live performances. I generally like to dabble in all areas of art from writing poetry to knitting a hat, anything that brings joy into my life.
I believe in living life to the fullest and here are a few quotes that I live by:
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
In the Dark
Brighter than many ever see
She within herself
Through the soul’s own mastery
And now the world receives
From her dower
The message of the strength
Of inner power.”
– Langston Hughes
December 18th, 2015
Book Fair at Barnes & Noble, Tribeca
By Alexandra Price, Intern
This year, Arts For All’s Barnes & Noble Book Fair shaped up to be the most merry and gainful annual fundraiser yet! The event spanned from Thursday, December 3rd to Monday, December 7th at the Barnes & Noble in Tribeca, featuring free gift-wrapping, books for donation and a “mention us at the register” initiative where a percentage of proceeds were donated to Arts For All. With the help of our generous volunteers from Kohl’s, NYU and the Arts For All community, and the excellent staff at Barnes & Noble Tribeca, we were able to raise a good deal of money for our programming and also received 75 donated books for our Literacy Through the Arts program. Arts For All is immensely grateful for the hard work of the volunteers who participated as well as the generosity of all the Barnes & Noble customers whose purchases and consideration made this fundraiser such a great success!
Arts For All would like to extend a special thank you to Kohl’s for their charitable donation to our cause and their enthusiastic, recurring volunteers!
Day at the Met Field Trip- 2015
By Alexandra Price
On Saturday, November 7th, 2015, 50 students plus chaperones from P.S. 163 and New Alternatives for Children were able to travel back in time…at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! Arts For All hosted its 12th annual Day at the Met field trip with the volunteer assistance and the generous sponsorship of Capgemini and Kohl’s.
The first part of the day consisted of professional tour guides from the Metropolitan Museum of Art leading the groups through new eras. Broken up into groups, the students were able to retell the stories and facts they learned to their peers. While one group learned about the warriors in Greek and Roman sculpture, another travelled through ancient Asia where they learned about the Buddha and meditation.
After lunch in the cafeteria, the students participated in tours with Arts For All volunteers, Alan Ostroff, Otto Cheng and Alexandra Price. While Alexandra taught her group about Cubism in the Modern and Contemporary galleries of the museum where they made their own Cubism inspired drawings, Otto took his students on an adventure through the armory exhibit. The trip through time allowed the students to visit with the armor of the knights from Europe, warriors from Japan, and the flags of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. They explored the artistry of armor-making, designs of different types of swords and the family crests on various shields.
Arts For All is extremely grateful to our sponsors, Capgemini and Kohl’s, for supporting this field trip and providing a team of enthusiastic and engaging volunteers. We’d also like to send thanks to the dedicated Arts For All volunteers who donated their Saturday to help pass on their passion for art to the children we serve!
Mark your calendars and please join us Thursday, December 3rd through Monday December 7th for our annual fundraising event at the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca. We are thrilled to partner with Barnes and Noble again this year for this event.
Arts For All will receive a percentage of all purchases made at the store, over the phone or online during these dates when Arts For All is mentioned. Please remember to mention Arts For All at the register (or over the phone or online) in order for us to receive a percentage.
The best way to support us is to come to the store and purchase books, music and other items or to place an order over the phone.
To purchase over the phone, please call the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca at (212) 587-5389.
If you’re unable to come into the store or order over the phone, you can also order books online and we’ll receive a smaller percentage. To order online, visit www.bn.com/mybookfair and enter the voucher number: 11704046
We hope to see you at the Barnes and Noble in Tribeca at 97 Warren Street in NYC December 3rd-7th!
Written by AFA Intern, Alexandra Price
October 30, 2015
On Saturday, October 17th, Arts for All hosted their fourth annual Professional Development day! Teaching artists and volunteers were invited to participate in a four-hour workshop of beneficial presentations, creativity and teaching exercises as well as snacks and conversation.
The day commenced with words and reminders from Executive Director, Anna Roberts-Ostroff, who focused on changes to policy as well as the gratitude of Arts for All for all it’s dedicated, talented teachers and volunteers. Moving into the principal activities, AFA teaching artist Robin Cannon-Colwell shared a presentation on assessment. She focused on its importance as a tool for measuring normally non-quantitative challenges such as gaining confidence and being able to track those changes. With visual aids, she was able to document differences in engagement and positive adjustments in her students.
TA, Robin Cannon Colwell presenting on Assessment and Evaluation
After a brief break, the event launched into an interactive and entertaining talk with guest speaker, Robin Bady. Award-winning storyteller Robin Bady has been called, “gutsy, big hearted, and street smart.” Whether performing for adults, children or families, Robin has a warmth and humor that brings her stories to joyful life, creating an electric and engaging rapport with her audience. As a teaching artist and staff developer, she has worked with the Brooklyn Academy of Art, CityLore, Henry Street Settlement, the Guggenheim Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others.
Robin lead the group through a series of exercises that expanded creativity, drew out confidence and initiated new thinking. Some of these activities included making human sculptures, additive storytelling, storytelling drawings and writing stories about the saddest and happiest moments in our lives. Her lesson for the day was that all disciplines of art have a storytelling element. Program Manager of Literacy Through the Arts and Program Committee Chair, Shawn Shafner, connected the storytelling component to a better understanding of students and realizing they too have their own stories that which effect their behavior and performance in programs.
Professional Development Day this year was geared toward giving the teaching artists and volunteers the tools they need to assess their programs and instilling Arts for All’s core values (Self-Confidence, Self-Expression, Teamwork, Resilience and Creativity) in their students and themselves!