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Project Creates was a huge success! We started out with an idea that we could bring so much value to the classroom to both children and teachers.
Over the course of the program we collected data on several aspects of the program and have composed them into a PDF as a summary of our findings.
Project CREATES, Inc., “Connecting Community Resources, Encouraging All Teacher to Educate with Spirit” is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit organization, operating in the Tulsa Public Schools since 2000. Our mission is to provide educational reform and transformation through the arts for schools of need in Tulsa. CREATES is unique in that the arts are embedded into the core curriculum and used to help teachers reach all standards and benchmarks. Tulsa’s best professional artists, in all disciplines, partner to teach with classroom teachers in all subject areas. Children have direct and frequent contact with true professional artists who are helping them to learn the basic subjects as well as all the standards in art.
CREATES encourages teachers to nurture their own creativity through hands-on professional development workshops, creating classroom environments that support learning and creativity. Participants gain a true appreciation for the arts. Children with special talents are identified and receive further training. Based on a five-year research study, conducted by an acclaimed research team from Oklahoma State University, it is clear that this model both accelerates and deepens learning. CREATES builds communities and magnetizes greater parent involvement into participating schools. CREATES is shaping the audiences of the future for the arts in Tulsa. CREATES supports children and teachers to become both life-long learners and life-long participants in the arts.
CREATES is a real program for real teachers and real students. Many of the challenges facing public schools today are remedied by the CREATES model. A major local study, within Tulsa Public Schools on the effects of the CREATES model, shows conclusively that learning is accelerated. It also demonstrates that both teachers and students are happier and view themselves as being more creative. Daily attendance is increased because children can’t wait to get to school. Based on hundreds of hours of teacher interviews and observations, conducted during the course of this research effort, it is evident that this model can eliminate many common classroom discipline problems.
Art infusion is available to all children at Project CREATES schools. Any and all support for this special Project is welcomed and tours of any of the CREATES school are cheerfully offered at any time. Thanks to the many CREATES supporters and partners throughout the community! If you care about Tulsa’s children, care about education, and care about sustaining the arts in Tulsa, then you will welcome the opportunity to support CREATES. Together we are making public education the best that it can be.
“The winds of change are blowing. We can build a wall or we can build a windmill. CREATES is the windmill for Tulsa classrooms.”
Tulsa teachers just can’t wait for the next CREATES professional development!
CREATES workshops fully engage teachers in all of the art disciplines. Throughout the school year, teachers dance, sing, paint, act and write at weekend workshops. With the assistance of CREATES staff and local professional artists, teachers explore and develop confidence in their own creativity, and in their ability to develop curriculum based on Tulsa Public Schools benchmarks and pacing calendar.
Professional development supports teachers, artists, and coaches in working collaboratively to make learning interesting, active, and fun. This increases student retention and makes learning more creative for all who participate. Our research shows that as a teachers creativity grows it transfers directly to the classroom experience, thus providing a model of sustainability.
These lesson plans represent samples of the art infusion that took place in four public elementary schools over the past 5 years. All lesson plans were co-created by teams that included at least 1 classroom teacher (sometimes as many as 3 or 4), at least one artist (from either the music, visual, performing or literary arts) and more often than not, an ARC (Arts Resource Coach). The objective of all lessons, no matter what age group or subject, was to engage students to become active learners, to use their senses as well as their intellect to observe, deduct, create, enjoy and explore the rich world around them. Students learned about the arts as they investigated their core curriculum in new and exciting ways. Teachers were challenged to renew and develop creative ways of educating their students. Students rallied to these challenges. The impact of most of these lesson plans reverberated throughout the school year with children’s exhibits, performances and their continued interest in research and knowledge.
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