Parents partner with CalArts to bring arts into Bridgeport classroomsMai Nguyen Do March 7, 2019 0 COMMENTS
In an effort to bring arts back into the classroom, the Parent Teacher Association at Bridgeport Elementary School is collaborating with CalArts’ Community Arts Partnership (CAP) program to create and implement an arts curriculum at the elementary school.
The CalArts program has offered free after-school and school-based arts programs for youth at public schools, community centers and social service agencies throughout Los Angeles County, including at West Creek Elementary School. After seeing the success of arts education programming at West Creek Elementary School, parents of Bridgeport Elementary School students contacted CAP to discuss how they could do similar work at their own school.
“Bridgeport was looking for a program that offers students an experience different from what they might typically get during their school curriculum,” Bridgeport PTA President Lisa Sawyer said. “Having teacher workshops, parent workshops, as well as family nights and the CAP workshops was a great way to extend the learning beyond the 6 to 8 week sessions we had on campus. We were also looking for programs that would easily loop into the extra-curricular classes at the junior high and high school levels.”
At Bridgeport, CAP now offers comprehensive arts education beginning with movement and rhythm classes for pre-kindergarten students. Subsequent grades learn hip hop dance, audio production, stage acting, African drumming and musical theater.
The students showcase their new skills in a series of family nights at the end of the semester, during which parents also participate alongside their children in their art demonstrations.
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.