Wells Branch Arts Integration Academy gets instruction boost from district grant

wbe-creative-actionA District awarded grant of $98,622 has allowed students and staff at Wells Branch Elementary Arts Integration Academy ( AIA) to develop their creative and critical thinking skills with weekly visits from a team of teaching artists.

Creative Action is an Austin-based non-profit organization that brings interactive programs taught by professional teaching artists directly to students and teachers in the classroom. The Wells Branch AIA was one of 34 Round Rock ISD schools to receive an Innovative School Grant, which was implemented to enhance a current instructional model or design to create a higher quality innovative campus.

Teaching artists will dedicate approximately four hours per week to coordinate and communicate with classroom teachers, principals, arts integration specialists and specials teachers to provide hands-on instruction and support to implement specific learning strategies in the classroom.

“Wells Branch is excited to have this unique opportunity for students to learn immersed in the arts with the resident artists, while teachers are learning innovative strategies for classroom arts integration,” said Belinda Cini, Wells Branch principal.

The project based art-enriched instructional model sparks student interests, strengthens their imaginations and develops empathy and understanding of multiple viewpoints. With thoughtful arts integration students are offered grade level appropriate conditions for 21st-century learning of science, social studies, literacy and reading comprehension. Students engage in drama, role-play, songs, group discussions and team games all centered on social and emotional issues and educational, creative solutions.

Students will perform a winter and spring showcase where their work from the entire year will be featured.

Creative Action serves academic and social and emotional learning goals for students Kindergarten through grade six. The Creative Action executive director, Karen LaShelle is a Westwood High School alumni and current member of the District’s fine arts department Council of the Arts advisory board.

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