Turnaround Arts Kick-Off at Red Lake Middle School
Tie-Dye Fridays To Be Held Weekly
Every student and staff at the Red Lake Middle School (RLMS) was said to have a tie-dyed a shirt for a school-wide photo-op for a kick-off event on Friday, November 6, 2015. "And it was no small chore to get 250 people together for that photo," reported Red Lake Middle School teacher Tami Liberty.
"RLMS was selected by the Presidents Council on Arts and Humanities as a grantee for a special program last year and this year," said Liberty. "The program is called the Turnaround Arts. It grants funds to the lowest performing schools to integrate art into the core curriculum to increase student performance."
"To kick-off Turnaround Arts: Minnesota at RLMS, all students and staff were provided the opportunity to create their own tie-dye t-shirt," said Mark Bensen, Principal, Red Lake Middle School. "Students and staff were able to choose their own tie-dye design and color scheme. After completion of the school-wide art project, the school gathered to take a group picture wearing their tie-dye t-shirts. Everyone is encouraged to wear their tie-dye t-shirts every Friday, as part of Tie-Dye Friday. The tie-dye t-shirts are meant to build community and unity in the school."
RLMS belongs to a network of Turnaround Arts schools across the country, which uses the arts to improve student learning and engagement as part of a signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Turnaround Arts: Minnesota is run by the Perpich Center for Arts Education.
"As one of four schools participating in Turnaround Arts: Minnesota, RLMS is focusing on using the arts to strengthen healthy student expression, a sense of belonging, community involvement, and Ojibwe cultural knowledge," said Bensen. "The arts will be integrated into core subject areas throughout the school year."
Schools in the program get access to expertise, resources, support, and materials from the Perpich Center, leading arts organizations and corporations such as Crayola, National Association of Music Merchants and Music Theater International. Teachers and principals receive strategic planning and implementation assistance as well as professional development from the Perpich Center.
The state legislature funds the Turnaround Arts: Minnesota initiative from its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The Minnesota State Arts Board committed grants to schools, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, to support the program and expand access to artists and arts organizations. Each school also receives approximately $25,000 in arts supplies, musical instruments and play licenses through national Turnaround Arts.
An Important Addition to RLMS Curriculum
• Red Lake Middle School belongs to a network of 35 Turnaround Arts schools across the country, which uses the arts to improve student learning as part of a national program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Turnaround Arts: Minnesota is run by Perpich Center for Arts Education.
• A strong arts program, used strategically, can help address some of the hard problems commonly found in high-poverty, underperforming schools.
• Arts experiences reach children at their core, build cultural connections, and excite children about coming to school and learning.
• Arts classes get students excited and engaged and give them the experience of success, often for the first time.
• Arts integration gives teachers new tools to motivate, reach and teach their kids.
• Recent studies show that students who participate regularly in the arts are more self confident and better able to express their ideas, have higher attendance and high school graduation rates, and are more likely to go on to a four-year university, graduate from that university and go on to a career with potential.
• The students that need the arts the most are getting it the least. While rich public schools have high rates of arts education, high-poverty schools have almost none. There are over 5 million students in public elementary schools in this country without either a music or an arts class in their school. Almost all are high-poverty.
According to Liberty, there are five target areas the team will be focusing on this year with the grant along with actions already taken or planned.
1 Integrate arts into classroom instruction.
2 Increase positive peer relationships.
3 Increase family support and involvement at school
4 Increase Ojibwe cultural knowledge for students
5 Transforms at least two spaces around the school into healing art places using murals, student generated work and gathering spaces.
Vision Statement - Red Lake Middle School Turn Around Arts Vision
Red Lake Middle School is an artistic cultural school environment. Our vision is to develop a healing cultural school environment where the families and community become an integral part of and contribute to the positive relationships with and among students and staff. The school embodies the students creative and artistic endeavors and hidden talents to achieve the success of all.
About Perpich Center for Arts Education
Perpich Center for Arts Education is a state agency serving all schools, students and educators in Minnesota. Created in 1985 by the Minnesota state legislature, the agency seeks to advance K-12 education throughout the state by teaching in and through the arts. Perpich staff and faculty experts provide outreach, professional development, research, curriculum and standards development. Additional information about Perpich is at perpich.mn.gov.
About the President's Committee on The Arts and The Humanities
Created in 1982 under President Reagan, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues. The committee works directly with the three primary cultural agencies-National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services-as well as other federal partners and the private sector, to address policy questions in the arts and humanities, to initiate and support key programs in those disciplines and to recognize excellence in the field. Its core areas of focus are education, cultural exchange and creative economy. Under the leadership of the First Lady and Honorary Chairman, and through the efforts of its federal and private members, the President's Committee has compiled an impressive legacy over its tenure, conducting major research and policy analysis, and catalyzing important federal cultural programs, both domestic and international.