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San Rafael, California 94901
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STEAM Summer Learning at Lu Sutton

 

Exploring the local creek and designing their own natural playgrounds, creating songs about protecting the world, discovering the details in individual leaves and creating posters, learning vocabulary through dance games, using sculptures to explore science. These are some of the new experiences that teachers led summer school students through at the University Prep Summer School.

Teachers attended the Marin County Office of Education and Youth in Arts’ recent STEAM workshop and put their learning into practice to make their own art-infused program at Lu Sutton Elementary School in Novato.

Earlier this month, Youth in Arts joined the Marin County Office of Education and a team of educators and experts to conduct a workshop on STEAM learning.  K-12 teachers were asked to rethink how they could teach the California Environmental Principles and Concepts.

Lisa Heslip, principal of the summer school program at Lu Sutton,  said students were happy, well behaved and engaged. Students made a giant “Making Learning Visible” paper wall documenting their learning that was posted in the courtyard of the school. The 1st through 5th grade students focused on the environment, looking at everything from how animals and people interact to their own carbon footprint.

Among other things, students considered the eyeball of a cow, putting the contents in a plastic bag, labeling the optic nerve, cornea and other parts, and taping the ball to the wall. “I wonder where tears come from?” pondered a student. Lower grade levels looked at creating sustainable playgrounds.

Heslip took photos and posted them on the wall, and students added their own drawings and Post It notes with questions and observations.

“They stop at it all the time,” Heslip said. “It represents them. It’s not teacher created at all.”

Summer schools teachers also had intensive coaching by members of Agency By Design Oakland, who helped them with curriculum planning and were present during classroom teaching, Heslip said.

“When you think of English Language (Learners), it’s getting them to talk and express their ideas … giving them the opportunity to use academic language,” Heslip said. “What better way to do it than with a hands on activity?”

Preliminary research shows an increase in student summer school attendance (100% this year!) Teachers say they felt “inspired” and “reinvigorated” to go back into the classroom with these new tools.

 

Thank you to the California Department of Education’s Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant, Marin County Office of Education and Marin Community Foundation for helping to make this work possible.

 

YIA at the ATLAS STEAM Institute

Youth in Arts joined the Marin County Office of Education and a team of STEM educators and experts to conduct a week-long professional development workshop on STEAM learning for more than 60 teachers in Novato, CA. The program was dedicated to considering how the environment impacts people and how people impact the environment, asking K-12 teachers from across Marin County to rethink how they might teach the California Environmental Principles and Concepts to their students in innovative and interdisciplinary ways.

Utilizing a culturally responsive framework to consider the diverse ways in which our students learn, we considered how to address global issues such as climate change through a local lens using place-based inquiry and problem solving. The week-long training event began with participants experiencing STEAM as learners, taking part in a Phenomena Walk that involved finding and drawing an intersection between nature and something human-made and employing discussion-based reflection frameworks like Visual Thinking Strategies to break down the meaning of the Environmental Principles and Concepts.

We then examined sea level rise and ways to make meaningful change through a case study of the Canal in San Rafael, and used the Engineering Design Cycle to plan out how to take this case study and apply it. Building on this process, we used resources from the Davidson Middle School’s Makerspace to think creatively and prototype solutions to issues such as reducing plastic consumption and designing structures for desalinization. Throughout the institute, participants learned ways to use art collaboratively in the classroom, from techniques such as theatre-based presentations to a Making Learning Visible wall that showed how to document the process of learning through photographs, words and art.

Participants were encouraged to create a cross-disciplinary framework meant to empower students to ask questions and become advocates in their communities. If teachers support students in becoming leaders, they in turn can design solutions to care for the environment. “The impact of humans on the environment is something we can’t ignore, and young people are already leading the way toward finding solutions,” said Executive Director Miko Lee. “This was an important collaboration to help teachers reach all learners through multiple methods.”

Lee was one of the keynote speakers of day one focused on Cultural Responsive Teaching.   On the second day students from the Sunrise Movement spoke about getting the Green New Deal passed in Marin. On day three, artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez, who talked about the importance of looking for stories that allow students to create a future of possibility. She also showed a map of the Bay Area and noted how poorer areas bear the brunt of pollution. Encourage students to examine their own community, she said, and document what is represented – and what is not. On day four former Youth in Arts Director Nydia Algazzali Gonzalez spoke about the importance of interdisciplinary learning. To watch the keynote speeches, please visit the Marin County Office of Education.

The final two days included time for curriculum planning. A cohort of 18 teachers returned on Sunday to gear up for Summer School. Those summer school teachers, will receive mentoring from Agency By Design whose Executive Director is Brooke Toczylowski, former YIA staff artist.

To find out how you can implement STEAM at your school site, email: kelsey@youthinarts.org
In addition to the YIA staff (Miko Lee, Suzanne Joyal, Kelsey Rieger and Cathy Bowman), STEAM institute leaders included Marin County Office of Education’s Eileen Smith and Michelle Drake, Ben Ford of Sonoma State Math Department, Rod Septka from Mill Valley School District, Ray McClintock of Marin SEL, Jerry Lieberman from Ten Strands, Adam Singer of Davidson MakerSpace, and Nick Williams of San Marin High School.

Youth Leaders for the Environment

(alphabetical order)

Mishka Banuri is a 17-year-old from Utah who helped craft and pass the Utah Climate Resolution, the first of its kind in a traditionally conservative state. Here is a video made by the Brower Awards.

Mari Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, has been the 11-year-old activist about the Flint Michigan water crisis. Here is an article/video of her in Teen Vogue.
Jamie Margolin is a 16-year-old Seattle teen who founded Zero Hour, a youth led climate change movement. Here is Jamie’s TEDX talk. Each of the teens in Zero Hour represent a different perspective and part of the United States. More about the team in the NYTimes here and also here in the New Yorker.

Jade Sweeney is an 18-year-old from North Carolina who is combatting Colony Collapse Disorder and addressing bee conservation by introducing apiaries and pollinator parks in her local schools. Here is a video made by the Brower Awards.

Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh is a teen Indigenous environmental activist who sued the U.S. government over the issue of climate change. He is also a spoken word artist. Here is a vice video (FYI swearing involved). Here is his talk to the United Nations.
Greta Thunberg is a teen Swedish climate change activist who lead the international student strike. Here is Greta’s TED talk. Here is the Brave video about her leading the movement.

Aslan Tudor wrote his book on Standing Rock when he was 11 years old: “Young Water Protectors: A Story about Standing Rock.”
Canadian 12th graders Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao found a bacteria to biodegrade plastic. Here is their TED talk. Great example of engineering process in action and how accidents can create inventions.
Sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen are on a mission to ban plastic bags in Bali. Here is their TED Talk.

Rose Whipple is a 17-year-old from Minnesota who is fighting the Pipeline, which is proposed to go through Minnesota and indigenous territories and will threaten the way of life of the Anishinaabe and Dakota people. Here is a video made by the Brower Awards.Kaiya Yonamine, an Okinawan-American 17-year-old created “Our Islands Treasure” video about the building of another U.S. military base that is polluting the ocean. Watch the 3-minute trailer here. There’s also a 20-minute documentary with some subtitles.

More information

Brower AwardsGo here for video profiles from Earth Island Institute’s Brower Youth Award for Environmental Leadership. Many, many excellent youth activists from across North America and covering a variety of environmental issues.

Climate Woke!/CultureStrike Project discussed by artist Favianna Rodriguez links climate change to racial injustice. Climate Woke video.

Water Protectors – Here is a teacher’s guide (with lessons, videos, stakeholders) on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters -– the Standing Rock Water Protectors (many of the leaders are youth).

Thank you to the California Department of Education and the Marin Community Foundation for helping to make this event happen.

‘Til Dawn’s Annual Concert

‘Til Dawn, Youth in Arts’ award-wining a cappella group, dazzled their audience with a wide range of songs at its annual concert at the Carol Franc Buck Hall of the Arts at San Domenico School in San Anselmo. The group is the longest, year-round teen a cappella ensemble in the Bay Area.

Each of the members, mostly from Marin County high schools, performed at least one solo. The repertoire included Big Band music, Motown hits, modern pop tunes and more. ‘Til Dawn is part of Youth in Arts’ Intensive Arts Mentorship program (I AM).

“One of the amazing things about a cappella music is it’s universally relatable to human beings because we all have voices; because it’s all coming from a human voice, any number of genres that people might not otherwise listen to are accessible,” said ‘Til Dawn Director Austin Willacy.

Willacy has been the director for 22 years and also records and performs with his own a cappella band, The House Jacks, and as a solo artist.

“Programs like these are vital for creating a space for young artists to thrive,” said Youth in Arts’ Executive Director Miko Lee. “These talented young singers practiced for months and their hard work paid off. The audience was thrilled.”

If you missed the concert, you’re in luck. ‘Til Dawn performs at the Marin County Fair in San Rafael on July 3 from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

And check out some videos here:

‘Til Dawn Annual Concert 2019.

Thank you to San Domenico School for the generous gift of the hall for the concert and to the Marin Community Foundation.

Visit Our New Art Lab!

Youth in Arts is excited to announce the opening of our new ART LAB at the YIA Gallery.

Located in the gallery’s store, the ART LAB is open during regular Youth in Arts hours  – Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and until 8pm during Downtown San Rafael’s 2nd Friday Art Walks. It’s free and open to the public for art-making activities linked to YIA exhibitions.

“In keeping with our mission of providing arts access to all learners, Youth in Arts is opening its doors to the community to explore its creativity,” said Miko Lee, executive director of Youth in Arts. “We’re providing free, hands-on art projects for all ages.”

Children will enjoy kid-sized tables where they can make art and explore materials. Each exhibition will also feature the artwork of one of Youth in Arts’ Mentor Artists. All artwork on view in the space will be for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Youth in Arts.

Suzanne Joyal’s work is currently featured and coincides with Imagining Friendship the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts exhibition of self portraits by kindergarteners and first graders from Laurel Dell Elementary School in San Rafael. The colorful paintings were created during their Fall residency with Youth in Arts. As part of the exhibit, Youth in Arts’ staff have created a kid-sized interactive cardboard world with doors, tunnels and windows for exploring.

Both children and adults are welcome, but we kindly ask that all children be accompanied and supervised by their grownups.

Please come and visit us soon. Just look for our bright red wall!

Spreading the Message About Arts Equity

Youth in Arts staff, Miko Lee, Suzanne Joyal and Kelsey Rieger have been presenting on arts equity as a tool to begin implementation of the Marin Arts Education Plan. On January 29 the team conducted a 3-hour interactive workshop for Marin County educators and administrators at Marin Community Foundation. Participants learned about the recent data released from the California Data Project and reflected on the Race Counts study. They watched “A Student Named Art” student produced film from the California Arts Education Alliance and deconstructed the video using Visual Thinking Strategies. They learned about the latest in arts education research, created a collaborative mural and used theatre to explore language arts and history links.

Thank you for the amazing presentation you and your team so beautifully engaged us in yesterday.  It was wonderful how you kept everybody engaged while instilling some crucial facts about the powerful impact art can provide students.  Observing the group, I feel confident that each person present will be sharing this information with others and thinking more about how to take the next steps within their district or school.”

-Eileen Smith, Marin County Office of Education Director of Education Services

That same night Miko & Kelsey provided similar workshop for the North Bay PTA leads and provided information about CREATE California’s Public Will Campaign.  For more info about this workshop, reach out to us: mlee@youthinarts.org

 

 

Kickoff Breakfast for Arts Now Marin

The second Sunday in September has been designated by Congress since 2010 as the beginning of National Arts in Education Week. During this time, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.

This year, Youth in Arts worked with colleagues to plan a dynamic and multifaceted celebration of National Arts in Education Week spanning the county and offering activities for students, teachers, parents and the general public. Educators and invested community members were invited to celebrate the launch of National Arts Education Week by attending the Kickoff Breakfast for Arts Now Marin with Youth In Arts, Marin County Office of Education, California Alliance for the Arts, Marin Community Foundation, Marin Center, and the rich Arts Community of Marin. Together we celebrated the accomplishments of our young artists and considered new ways to share the arts with more students in our communities. A special thanks goes out to everyone who made this event possible, and to all those who took time away from their important work to come together to consider the future of the arts in Marin County!

IEP Arts Lesson Exchange

Post VSA Conference with added activities

By YIA Sachiko Moran, UCLA World Arts & Culture intern

Staff Miko Lee and Suzanne Joyal recently presented at the Kennedy Center VSA Intersections International conference in Atlanta on the upcoming IEP Arts Lesson Exchange. They introduced the concept to teachers and asked for their feedback and ideas on how to make it meaningful and useful to them and their students.

For years YIA has seen the impact that arts has on all students and particularly students with disabilities. For students with special needs, teachers must make the time to fill out Individualized Evaluation Plans (IEPs). Often times, when creating these plans, arts are left out of the picture.

YIA began working with a small group to create the beginning of an IEP Arts Lesson Exchange. This will be a free searchable database of arts activities for teachers and teaching artists to access in order to reach all types of learners. Through this exchange, YIA hopes that teachers and artists alike can contribute and benefit from one another’s knowledge and skills, making arts education more accessible. YIA knows that there are countless motivated educators that are keen on sharing and learning. The IEP Arts Lesson Exchange will be a platform on which they can do so.

To add your own activities and learn more go here.

Shout out to UCLA World Arts & Culture intern Sachiko Moran who created the rainbow and tested out the online forms.

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Suzanne Joyal working with the VSA conference participants

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Close up of a visual arts activity

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Close up of a New Media activity

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Close up of a Music activity

 

Arts Education Week Planning

PhotoPack1 AFTA_ArtsEdWeek_030915Youth in Arts hosted community leaders, educators and arts organizations in a guided discussion to plan a celebration for National Arts in Education Week.

Executive Director of Marin Cultural Association and Marin Center Gabriella Calicchio provided an overview of the Marin County Arts Plan that is currently in process. Marin County Office of Education’s Eileen Smith described the Arts Education planning process and Youth in Arts Executive Director Miko Lee spoke about the San Rafael Cultural Arts District that is underway.

Presentations included:

An overview of statewide arts data being collected around Arts Education in California.

A localized version that is used in LA County Arts Data

The preliminary work in process in Marin that includes elementary and community based organizations Marin Arts Ed Data project

Since these multiple arts planning are underway it was stressed how critical it is to build the case for arts education. Youth in Arts has created an Advocacy page  so that schools/organizations that are ready to develop an arts plan can forge right ahead.

As an arts community in Marin we will begin to focus on celebrating youth artists and sharing the power and story of arts education during National Arts Education WeekSeptember 12-18, 2018

Marin County Office of Education will host a series of professional development workshops both at the county office and then at specific school and community sites. If you are interested in providing a workshops reach out to Eileen Smith.

Samples of how other counties celebrate arts education (month/week)

Alameda with county declaration:

Los Angeles

Santa Clara

Santa Cruz

Sonoma

For more information about how you can become involved. Please reach out to Miko Lee.

National Arts in Education Week

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education. Watch the video and join us in the celebration!

  1. Celebrate. Host a celebration in your community, whether big or small, an existing event, or a new one. Download and use the shared logo and be sure to register your event on ArtsMeet, a national arts event calendar.
  2. Advocate. Work with your elected officials and decision-makers to share the value of the arts in education. Whether a mayor, principal, or U.S. Congressman, check out sample resolutions and videos, send an op-ed to your local newspaper, and use the Arts Education Navigator—an online tool with six action steps to crafting a personal advocacy plan. Be sure to sign the petition encouraging Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to support the arts!
  3. Participate. Share your story in the social media campaign, #BecauseOfArtsEd, to bring national visibility to the issue of arts education. See below for more information and download the How To Guide. Also, be sure to attend and invite friends to the Facebook Event.

 

STEAMing up Garbage

P1180520Graphing Garbage

A STEAM workshop: Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, Math

Youth in Arts staff Suzanne Joyal and Miko Lee in collaboration with the Marin County Office of Education  led a cohort of classroom teachers through a workshop teaching about the environmental pollution and ways to transform garbage into art while also teaching about graphing.

Teachers watched this video about the Pacific Trash “Island” and learned about the immense amount of plastic that has been impacting the planet. They watched the presentation (available below) about the impact of pollution on animals and saw how professional adult artists and kid artists could make powerful art from trash to tell a story.

Suzanne described the Graphing Garbage arts integration project that she created at Willow Creek Academy. Lesson plan (available below). She showed how graphing can be showed in a various artistic formats. Teachers then went through trash collected by YIA. They sorted the trash by items that had the most dangerous impact on animals. Working in teams they showcased this by featuring three sizes of fish and a jellyfish on an ocean backdrop. After reflecting on this process, teachers discussed potential math and literacy extensions.

Teachers then created individualized animals that they could bring back to their classrooms to replicate the process.

For help with sorting and weighing garbage in all Marin Schools (except Novato), contact Casey Poldino at CPoldino@marincounty.org and check out this website http://zerowastemarin.org/schools/.  For Novato schools, contact Dee Johnson at Novato Sanitary or Recology https://www.recology.com/recology-sonoma-marin/community-education-programs/

To make the recycled art more successful, Suzanne suggested purchasing Extra Tacky Glue and Tempera Cakes from RileyStreet Art Supply.

PaperSeed Foundation currently has a Recycled Art contest. Teachers and students win prizes. Click here for more info.

Graphing Garbage Integration Lesson and Graphing GarbagePPT was provided for the teachers to share in their classrooms.

 

Thank you to Christina Lunde for making the dinner and helping with logistics and to Eileen Smith for her assistance. Thank you PaperSeed Foundation and the California Arts Council for making this evening possible.

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Recycled Bug Art

On Friday night, teaching artists gathered together at Youth in Arts and created recycled insects. Visual Arts Director Suzanne Joyal and Executive Director Miko Lee led a hands on experience in utilizing recycled materials to teach about insects and create original works of arts.

Marin art teachers work with recycled materials

 

Lesson plans were provided for teachers to replicate at their school sites. Ten different schools were represented at this evening of creation and learning.

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Bug made of styrofoam, straws and wire

 

A table of recycled materials including corks, wire, plastic bottles, candy wrappers, buttons, straws and records were arrayed for the teaching artists to sort through. Through laughter and even bug songs, each teacher made a creature to bring back as a sample to their classroom.

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Bug made of cork, wire, plastic and straws

 

Teaching artists were encouraged to link science curriculum with recycled materials to create art pieces with students to enter into Spring’s PaperSeed Recycled Art Competition.  YIA Teaching Artist Nao Kobayashi created an amazing lifecycle on an album with a puppet caterpillar. Check out the video here.

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Nao creating her recycled button puppet

 

An Insect World PDF/Powerpoint and Insect Adapation lesson plan was provided for the teachers to share in their classrooms.  Thank you to PaperSeed Foundation and California Arts Council for making this evening possible.

 

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