On Wednesday, October 26th Senator Mike Johnston visited the Denver Center for International Studies at Ford Elementary (DCISF) to celebrate a grant recently awarded to the school’s unique Integrated Global Arts (IGA) program by the Colorado Creative Industry’s StART program. The Senator handed a large check for $9,000 (the first of two) to the program’s leadership, and cheers abounded as he congratulated students and faculty for their commitment to the arts.
The celebration was ultimately about those students who exemplify the characteristics of Global Leadership. At the assembly twenty-five students were honored because they exemplify the school’s core values of integrity, collaboration and high expectations. Further, a representative from Colorado State University’s Global Campus was present to acknowledge the first parent in the community to receive a scholarship to their online learning program. The parent education program at DCISF is just another way that the school aims to educate the community, and not just the child.
The assembly was an overall success in that each attending student demonstrated the learning they have been experiencing with their Community Artist since the start of September. Projects included a 2nd grade urban design action piece where students investigated their neighborhood and wrote letters of recommendation to Senator Johnston recommending the community transform a vacant lot nearby into a garden. In the spirit of the season, 1st grade students designed two monsters, a dad monster and a baby monster, to illustrate the academic standard that “offspring have characteristics that are similar, but not identical, to that of their parents”. Further, participating classes wrote a narrative for the monsters, detailing the body parts had by the creatures and the functions for each. Lastly, Kindergarten students sang a song that engaged the children in thinking about their community and how that community relates to the larger world. Overall, parents and children alike were very proud of their accomplishments, and the teachers and staff were all smiles.
Senator Mike Johnston says: “Art is not only a content matter in-and-of-itself, but is also a way of seeing the world. And part of our goal as educators is to make sure that every child has as many ways to see the world as possible.”
Tamera Cone, IGA Specialist says: “We are blessed to have the support of Senator Johnston and other leaders in the community. The funds received from this grant will go toward developing and implementing a new arts program which we hope will set the precedent for a nation-wide movement of arts integration.”