Designed to address students’ interests, skills, and abilities in the arts, this program enhances academic achievement and encourages excellence in the development of students’ special talents and passions for the arts. Students receive specialized studies in the visual arts, theatre arts, music, and dance. The arts are presented as an integral part of a strong academic program which addresses all areas of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
Arts integration presents students with the opportunity to learn through inquiry based hands on experiences in the classrooms. This opens up the classroom curriculum to become endless avenues of learning. Students learn in a variety of manners and the integration of arts in the core curriculum presents addresses diverse learning styles. In addition to art infused curriculum, students attends weekly classes in theatre arts, music, dance and visual arts. These classes offer students a broader view of the arts and it also gives them a chance to experience creative arts on a more intimate level. First Ward has multiple yearly artist-in-residence as well as art and science educational partners who visit the school and work with the students in the classrooms. This allows students to make connections between the classroom and real world experiences with professionals in a variety of arts and sciences. Technology also plays an important role in the arts integration. Through the use of classroom computers and interactive whiteboards students can break down the walls of the classroom into the universal school of learning.
Our educational/cultural partnerships are a major cornerstone for the creative arts education here at First Ward Elementary. Students at First Ward participate in artist in residence programs yearly from various educational and cultural institutions. Teaching artists from our partnership institutions work with the classroom teachers to design unique learning experiences which align with their classroom curriculum. These programs are designed to enhance academic studies as well as provide the students with real world opportunities to participate in the arts and sciences. The outcome is often an art object, book, performance or a combination of all. In addition to the artist in residence programs, our students are frequent visitors of all to the Uptown arts and science venues.
In conjunction with the creative arts education, First Ward CAA seeks to extend experiential learning to the curriculum and is planning an expansive Sense & Science outdoor science classroom. This space will the Sense and Science Garden will be a 1.25 acre green space that will include an hands-on outdoor classroom, a bird, butterfly and insect garden, an ozone garden, a math spiral with commissioned tree sculpture, an edible schoolyard garden, and wetland/dry stream. The center piece of the Garden will be a performance stage nestled under a half century old tree. This area will be used for choral, dance, drama performances and Reader’s Theatre.
Educational & Cultural Partners At A Glance
Kindergarten-The Gantt Center & the Mint Museum
First Grade-The Gantt Center & the Mint Museum
Second Grade-The Gantt Center & The Mint Museum
Third Grade- ImaginOn & Children’s Theatre
Fourth Grade-The Mint Museum, The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra & North Carolina Dance Theatre
Fifth Grade-UNC Charlotte:
College of Arts + Architecture
Additional Partnerships: Discovery Place, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, McColl Center for the Visual Arts, NASCAR Museum & Grey Seal Puppets.