Tag Archives: cms

ASC to L.I.F.T. learning experiences for year-round schools students

2 Jul proejct lift

By Bernie Petit
Communications Specialist

Thanks to the Arts & Science Council (ASC), the learning won’t have to stop for students at the four Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools year-round schools.

Last month, Project L.I.F.T. awarded ASC a $1.2 million grant to deliver free arts-infused programming to Pre-K to 8th grade students during intersessions at Bruns Academy, Druid Hills Academy, Thomasboro Academy and Walter G. Byers School. proejct lift

Project L.I.F.T. is the philanthropic initiative to accelerate academic achievement for children in Charlotte’s west corridor. The grant will allow ASC to potentially serve more than 2,800 students at the Project L.I.F.T. schools during intersessions, or two- to three-week breaks, in the 2013-14 continuous school year, which starts July 22 for Druid Hills and Thomasboro and July 23 for Bruns and Byers.

The ASC Scholars Academy will utilize science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, or STEAM, programming that aligns with the core missions of their schools during time periods when positive gains could be lost, said Dr. Barbara Ann Temple, ASC Vice President of Education.

“Why we’re so interested in this is because it is allowing us to provide opportunities where students are making a connection from their in-school learning time to their out of school time,” Temple said. “Instead of them having this wonderful in-school thing going on for months and then going on break and losing their momentum, we’re going to step in and really fill the gap. And it’s going to be that creativity gap because we believe that the arts are transformative.”

Each scholar will experience four residencies – Visual Art, Performing Art, Digital & Media Literacy, and Writing. A “community as campus” approach will be used to enhance programming. ASC will partner with Discovery Place, for example, to offer a wider range of STEAM activities.

“The Arts & Science Council isn’t going to do this alone,” Temple said. “We’re going to be reaching out to the community partners and sharing with them our plans for the ASC Scholars Academy and how they can perhaps be able to help us achieve our mission.”

Teachers from these schools can apply to fill instructor positions for up to 52 academy classrooms and will be eligible for professional development credits and stipends for each session attended.

“They will be able to go back to school right after their intersession period,” Temple said, “and teach these units of study that they would have seen in action throughout the camp.”

Have You Visited the ASC Education Network (ASCeducation.org)?

3 May asceducation.org

asceducation.orgBy David Currence, Marketing Manager

The Arts & Science Council (ASC) has launched the ASC Education Network (ASCeducation.org) – a resource for teachers, students and families concerning all things cultural education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  The ASC Education Network is a one-stop destination to find important news, relevant topics, cultural activities, as well as professional development and grant opportunities.

To make navigation within the site intuitive and easy, it is divided into four focus areas: Educators, Students and Families, Teaching Artists and Cultural Partners.  Each area allows visitors to quickly find the information that directly pertains to them.

The site is managed by highly-qualified educators, and it gives visitors access to the latest culturally-related information from Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS).  Events posted on Charlotte Culture Guide, a directory of teaching artists and information about out-of-school youth development programs can also be found on the site.

As an added bonus for teachers, the website also features an educators-only section in which they can upload cultural education lesson plans and discuss relevant education topics in a forum.

“The ASC Education Network is a go to source for information on cultural education in our community,” said ASC Vice President of Education, Barbara Ann Temple, Ph.D. “We look forward in the coming weeks and months to the collaboration and idea generation we expect from the network.”

ASC is proud that its partnership with CMS is strengthening our community’s educational system, and the ASC Education Network is one of many projects that will continue to solidify this great partnership.

CMS Fifth Graders Find Endless Possibilities

28 Mar

“Endless Possibilities” is more than the title of the performance more than 11,000 fifth graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools experienced two weeks ago – it is a mantra for the arts opportunities available to students in and out of school.

5th Grade Field Trip 145Collaborating on the experience that sought to open the eyes of the CMS students were the Charlotte Symphony, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Opera Carolina. The tailored performance featured the art form of each organization woven together with videos from students at Mint Hill Middle School, exploring the arts activities available in CMS middle schools.

Symphony Guest Conductor Jacomo Rafael Bairos led the performance. From Johan Sebastian Bach to hip-hop and Latin music, Bairos showed students the adaptability of different genres. The performance from the Symphony musicians had students dancing in their seats.

Singers from Opera Carolina performed various songs from the organization’s winter production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. This included the powerful ‘Queen of the Night’ aria and the joyful ‘Papagena/Papageno’ duet.5th Grade Field Trip 151

Incorporated into all of it was the dance of North Carolina Dance Theatre’s DT2 group. Eight dancers showcased varying styles to the music throughout.

The performance won plaudits from students, teachers and administrators alike.

Teacher Kristen Johnson told the Charlotte Observer:

“In class, I used a lot of video clips so that kids could actually hear and see ‘The Magic Flute’ and orchestral pieces,” said Kristen Johnson, a music teacher at Irwin Academic Center. “I could see the kids during the performance saying, ‘Wait! We’ve heard that!’ This reinforces what we’ve been learning for years and pulls it all together.”

This year, ASC is supporting arts, science and history related field trip experiences for more than 120,000 students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In addition to the 5th grade field trip, the experiences, which align with grade level curriculum, have brought the Taraddidle Players out to area elementary schools, taken 3rd graders to historic sites throughout the county, allowed 6th graders to get hands on with science at Discovery Place, and shown 7th graders all the the Levine Center for the Arts has to offer.

5th Grade Field Trip 063ASC’s commitment to restoring cultural field trips was born out of the Cultural Education Blueprint. The Blueprint is a strategic guide for ASC and CMS to better serve students, parents and teachers with quality education resources of the cultural community that align with the Common Core State Standards and the N.C. Essential Standards.

To learn more about ASC’s efforts in education, click here.

Nominate a Great Teacher Today

13 Feb

Know a great teacher? Of course you do! Nominate him or her for a Cato Excellence in Teaching Award. The award annually recognizes six creative teachers. Each recipient receives a $1,500 award.

2012 Cato Award Winner

2012 Cato Award Winner

Nomination applications are available on ArtsAndScience.org and the deadline is Friday, March 1, 2013.  The finalists and recipients will be announced during ASC’s annual Impact + Investment event this summer.

“There are so many outstanding teachers in our community,” said ASC Vice President of Education, Barbara Ann Temple, Ph.D.  “We are thrilled to be able to recognize those who are excelling in their fields and improving the educational opportunities of our students.”

Three years ago, ASC established the Cato Excellence in Teaching Award to recognize teachers who have distinguished themselves in teaching Art, Science or History, or who have demonstrated creative infusion of arts, science or history into the core academic curriculum. The award is made possible through an endowment gift made to ASC from The Cato Corporation.

To be considered eligible for the award, individuals must be a Pre-K through 12th grade teacher working for a public or independent school in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln or Union counties in N.C., or Lancaster or York counties in S.C.

Click here for more information and to nominate a teacher. 

Heaven Sherman’s Studio 345 Journey

4 Jan

Heaven ShermanBy Glenn Burkins, Studio 345 Teaching Artist

For as long as her family could remember, 19-year-old Heaven Sherman has wanted to perform – as an actress, or maybe as a singer.

In mid-December, just before the Christmas break, Heaven joined dozens of other high school students in a closing-night performance celebrating the completion of Studio 345’s first trimester.

Inspired by the nonprofit Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, Studio 345 was launched by the Arts & Science Council in the fall of 2012. It uses digital photography and multimedia arts to educate and inspire students to stay in school, graduate, and pursue goals beyond high school. The program is open to all high school students in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

Heaven, a senior at Hawthorne High School, enrolled in the 10-week multimedia class, where she recorded her own songs in a custom-built studio and worked with others in her class to produce music videos. But as she prepared to take the stage for a solo performance on closing night, family members who had come to cheer her on were unsure exactly what to expect.

Heaven Valerie“I’ve never heard her sing, other than in the shower, so this should be interesting,” her mother, Geneva Sherman, said.

In Studio 345, Heaven earned praise from her teaching artists, both for her vocal talent as well as for her determination. Just hours before her performance, she was still busy in the studio, working with one of the teaching artists to make last-minute adjustments to her recording.

Heaven said she enrolled in Studio 345 with high expectations – and she said she wasn’t disappointed.

“I actually received more than I thought I was going to receive, she said. “I learned more than I thought I was gong to learn. We experienced new things that I didn’t think we were going to experience.”

When asked what she liked most, Heaven was quick to respond: “The highlight out of everything to me is just being around people who care…people who recognize me for the talent I have…just being in a caring environment.”

On stage that evening, Heaven showed no outward signs of nerves, and she received wild applause from others in her class. But her highest praise came from members of her family.HEaven Singing

“I’m so proud of her,” said her grandmother, Marian Sherman. “She loves acting and signing, and she loves writing songs. I think she will go further because of this program.”

Heaven said her goal is to pursue a career in music.

“I know I have a talent,” she said. “In fact, I know that I have a gift, actually.”

Heaven’s mother said she supports her daughter’s musical aspirations.

“I believe all children should go after their dreams if that’s what they want,” she said. “Shoot for the stars; you might land somewhere.”

To learn more about Studio 345, click here.

Help Create Lasting Memories

21 Nov

By Laura Sharpe, Associate Director, Community Giving

One memory that sticks out in my mind from elementary school was getting on a big yellow school bus to visit the Pink Palace Museum.  Since I walked to school, it was the first time I ever had been on a school bus, and it was also the first time I saw the polar bear that guarded the museum’s entry hall.  Thinking back on it more, it was an entire day of firsts – the first time I learned that grocery stores used to be really different as I walked through the replica Piggly Wiggly store; the first time I learned about leaches thanks to a creepy yellow fever diorama; and the first time I learned about very different cultures when I saw the shrunken head of an Ecuadorian Indian, complete with recipe.

I’m sure that many of you have memories like these, perhaps without the shrunken head, and this year you have the opportunity to provide field trip memories for thousands of CMS students through a small donation on power2give.org.

Two years ago, budget cuts caused arts programming, including field trips, to be cut from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.  Thanks to generous donations to the Arts & Science Council last year, $1 million was given to reinstate many of the programs, including cultural experiences that many of the students would otherwise not have.

This year, the Arts & Science Council has earmarked a portion of the $150,000 Challenge Grant from The Leon Levine Foundation for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools grade-level field trips.  More than $20,000 is left to match every donation dollar-for-dollar, and make it possible for:

  • 5th graders to attend a joint performance of Charlotte Symphony, NC Dance Theatre and Opera Carolina
  • 6th graders to interact with science at Discovery Place
  • 7th graders to visit Levine Center for the Arts
  • Secondary students and teachers to attend Children’s Theatre’s production of Red Badge of Courage

To learn more about and support these projects, visit power2give.org.

CMS Employees Make a Double Mark Thanks to the Wells Fargo Foundation

31 Oct

By Catherine Miller, Associate Director, Workplace Giving

October 15th marked the kickoff of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools One Community. One Campaign. season. It is at this time of year that employees across CMS come together to support community organizations. These organizations include the United Way, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, and the Arts & Science Council. This is an important effort for ASC not only because of our strong partnership with CMS for cultural education programming, but also because CMS employees contribute nearly $100,000 towards the Make Your Mark Campaign annually.

This year, the campaign is even more exciting for two reasons. First, all funds raised by CMS employees will go directly back into ASC’s Cultural Education Fund. This means that these contributions will ensure the continuation of grade wide cultural field trips, in classroom experiences with ASC’s partner organizations, as well as professional development opportunities around innovation and creativity for CMS principals and teachers. In addition to the direct impact CMS employees can have on their students and colleagues, the Wells Fargo Foundation has announced that they will match donations up to $100,000, $1 for $1.

“Wells Fargo is a committed partner of arts and education in our region,” said Kendall Alley, Wells Fargo Charlotte regional president. “This opportunity allows us to combine both while empowering CMS employees to make a direct impact in the lives of their students. We are proud to support ASC’s Cultural Education Fund. Our teachers and educators are real heroes and it is nice to know that Wells Fargo can double the impact of any contribution they make to this important fund.”

This year, through Wells Fargo’s Live and Give campaign, employees of the company donated almost $400,000 to the ASC Cultural Education Fund. Donations by Wells Fargo, its employees and other community donors in the previous year have allowed ASC to support nearly 300 field trips for more than 48,000 students across the district, as well as professional development for nearly 900 teachers.

“The generosity of Wells Fargo has strengthened the great partnership our district has with the Arts & Science Council,” said Dr. Heath E. Morrison, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “Wells Fargo has made it possible for the ASC partnership to help our students and our teachers. We are very grateful for the breadth and depth of this support.”

“We are grateful to Wells Fargo for their support of ASC and our work to prepare students and teachers to be innovative and creative thinkers for the 21st Century,” said ASC President Scott Provancher. “It is because of the generosity of companies like Wells Fargo and the employees of CMS that the Education Fund has been able to impact thousands of lives. ASC looks forward to growing that impact in the years to come.”

To date the One Community. One Campaign. has raised $46,000 towards this $200,000 combined goal. The campaign will close November 16th. We look forward to seeing the exciting results of this wonderful partnership.


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