2005 Bank of America Awardees

Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s “School Partners with Artists Reaching Kids” (SPARK)

An innovative partnership with seven elementary schools and their district administrators, SPARK was established in September 1997 to provide teachers and administrators with community arts education programs that were school-focused rather than extracurricular, and that helped them achieve the goals for which they were accountable.

The SPARK program for 2005-06 serves 1,951 students and includes workshops involving 25 Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra musicians and 95 classroom teachers; six in-class lessons presented by DPO musicians; classroom visits by Music Director Neal Gittleman, Assistant Conductor Patrick Reynolds, and docents from the Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association; chamber-orchestra concerts for all K-3 students in the participating schools, planned around curricular themes and geared to their respective grade levels; and a DPO Young People’s Concert for all fourth and fifth graders in these schools. Additional activities for fourth graders will be added in 2006-07, and for fifth graders in 2007-08 in the newest school in the partnership.

SPARK integrates music as an additional tool for teaching curricular concepts in the partner schools. This objective is achieved by teams of DPO musicians and classroom teachers, who together create lesson plans that use best practices to meet the teachers’ curricular needs as well as the arts standards set by their school district and state. All lesson plans are created with help from DPO Education Director Gloria Pugh. The partner schools’ eleven music specialists attend the workshops as well, so that they may incorporate SPARK’s classroom activities into their music classes.

A key element of SPARK is the cultural and economic diversity of students served, both within the City of Dayton and in surrounding communities. Participating institutions include two church-affiliated schools as well as five public schools, and enrollment ranges from 98 percent African-American (at Dayton Catholic Elementary) to 98 percent Caucasian (at Indian Riffle Elementary in suburban Kettering). One of the seven schools is Dayton’s Lincoln Magnet School for the Arts, whose enrollment is 54 percent Caucasian and 45 percent African-American, with 80 percent of students receiving a full or partial lunch subsidy.

The program’s longevity has allowed each teacher and musician team to develop a rapport, as musicians remain with the same grade and teachers year after year. Musicians have become comfortable planning and presenting lessons to the classes, and teachers are confident implementing music in their lesson plans; they understand that utilizing music and musical concepts to teach everyday subjects adds dimension to the lessons and to students’ learning.

For more information, contact:

Gloria Pugh, Director of Education, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
Performance Place
109 North Main Street
Suite 200
Dayton, OH 45402
(937) 224-3521 x118
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Greenville Symphony Orchestra’s “SmartArts: The Tanglewood Project”

This project arose from discussions initiated by school district administrators in Greenville County, South Carolina, with local community organizations and arts groups concerning ways to improve academic performance and promote positive personal growth for at-risk students at Tanglewood Middle School, one of the county’s four Title I schools to receive a state ranking of “Unsatisfactory” in 2001. During these discussions, arts organizations suggested arts integration as the primary focus, based largely on work at the Kennedy Center and Chicago Arts Partnership Education demonstrating the positive effects of arts-infused instruction on academic performance and behavior.

Spearheaded by Greenville Symphony Orchestra Education Coordinator Carol Roosevelt a partnership was formed, and funding was secured from the U.S. Department of Education. The initial three-year, multidisciplinary arts project began in fall 2002. The School District of Greenville County and Metropolitan Arts Council serve as lead agencies; arts partners include the GSO, Greenville County Museum of Art, Warehouse Theatre, Carolina Ballet Theatre, and the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. All participants were integral to the project design, while the lead agencies are responsible for administration, reporting, and project oversight.

Three key components of the Tanglewood Project are (a) integration of the arts into core academic classes; (b) student exposure to music, dance, theatre, and arts groups onsite; and (c) access to arts-related activities within the community. Activities during the first three years have included week-long residencies by GSO ensembles for music students and band and string classes at Tanglewood; units taught by individual GSO musicians on such subjects as music theory, math (measurement, percentage, probability), social studies, science, and language arts; concert previews for sixth graders by Music Director Edvard Tchivzhel; a professional development unit, “Using Orchestral Music in the Classroom,” presented to 80 Tanglewood teachers by GSO Education Coordinator Carol Roosevelt; a concert and “informance” session for the Tanglewood student body by GSO guest artist Stewart Goodyear; and GSO concerts offered free of charge to Tanglewood students and parents.

Since the inception of the Tanglewood Project, the school has posted some of Greenville County’s biggest increases in test scores and raised its state ranking from “Unsatisfactory” to “Good.” Other data demonstrate that average school-wide attendance has increased, suspensions have been reduced by more than 50 percent, and student participation in leadership and after-school activities has increased significantly. The South Carolina School Board Association awarded Tanglewood Middle School its Champions of Public Education Award, and the school also received the Palmetto Silver Award, which recognizes South Carolina schools with the highest level of student academic achievement and fastest rates of improvement.

For more information, contact:
Carol Roosevelt, Education Outreach & Grants Coordinator
Greenville Symphony Orchestra
200 South Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 232-0344 x17
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