Posted in GAP News

What IS a Partner in Education?

Did you know that the Greenville Arts Partnership was the first and one of only THREE organizations in the state of Mississippi to become a Kennedy Center Partner in Education? Our friends at MAAE are one too! Our organizations were elected because of our demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts, and our Partnership Team participates in collaborative efforts to make the arts integral to education.

Now in the second phase of our partnership, we focus on Basic Professional Development Experiences for Teachers and Professional Development for Teachers Focused on Performances for Students. That means that GAP members engage in planning, presenting and evaluating professional development workshops for teachers. Events may include either arts integrated or arts discipline-specific workshops. Additionally, GAP offers professional development for teachers to help them prepare students to learn from attendance at live performances. Professional development may include such things as workshops, performance guides and online resources, including podcasts and websites.

As a member of the Partner in Education program, each year members of our partnership:

  • Conduct an assessment of teachers’ professional learning needs
  • Convene an advisory group to assist with needs assessment, program design, and advocacy efforts
  • Serve greater numbers of individual teachers and teams of teachers
  • Conducts a minimum of three 3-hour workshops for teachers, and/or one 3-session sampler course.*
  • Assess program planning and implementation and make revisions to better meet participants’ needs
  • Continue to conduct a three-perspective (workshop leader, participants, and sponsor) evaluation process for all workshops and use results for program improvement.
  • Attend the Kennedy Center Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Want to learn more? Visit the Kennedy Center’s website at http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners/

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The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.