Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hui & Kamali'i: Partners in Arts Education

Over the course of the last year, representatives from both Hui No‘eau and Kamali‘i Elementary have worked together closely to develop and implement strategies for integrating the visual arts into Kamali‘i’s core curriculum, a public school in Kihei that until now had no formalized arts programming.

A planning committee comprised of Kamali‘i Principal Mary Auvil, community development & grants volunteer Yvonne Biegel, Susan Erickson of the Parent Community Networking Center, Hui Children’s Program Coordinator Kelly McHugh and Hui Executive Director Caroline Killhour developed a pilot program last spring that would use the visual arts as a catalyst for learning history and science lessons currently being taught in 2nd grade classrooms. The resulting 10-session program engaged 50 second-grade students and 2 classroom teachers in an age-appropriate, sequential based arts curriculum integrating the visual arts into subjects of life cycles and anthropology. “My students absolutely loved the program,” remarked Kamali‘i classroom teacher Debi Clapper, “I look forward to working with the Hui on a larger scale. The teaching artist was amazing!”

Based on the success of the pilot, the program doubled its reach in the fall, creating partnerships between 2 Hui teaching artists and 4 Kamali‘i classroom teachers and extending arts education to both the 2nd and 4th grades. With themes ranging from Inuit Indians, the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum and Hawaiian culture and anthropology, students built relationships between native Hawaiian environments, indigenous peoples, and world history to allow the discovery of their artistic hand.

“It is through the arts and our partnership with the Hui that we have been able to change and enhance the learning experience for each child,” remarks Kamali‘i Principal Mary Auvil. “My hope is that integrating the arts into our curriculum will change the learning experience for students and teachers alike. While I believe it is imperative that schools focus on helping each student meet grade level standards and pass the Hawaii State Assessment, the obvious bears mentioning: passing the Hawaii State Assessment does not define education.”

With phase III plans to extend these opportunities into an after-school program, the goal is to enable access to a high-quality arts education to all interested children living in the Kihei community, even those not currently enrolled at Kamali‘i Elementary.

The Hui wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to the Kind Heart Free Spirit Foundation for making this program possible. Because if their vision and generosity, we look forward to continuing to develop arts enrichment programs for all children living in Maui’s Kihei community. Robin Courson's 2nd grade Kamalii students, Maia Valois, Henry Johnston, Elijah Rodrigues, and Emily Raikes, show off their new art work, developed with Hui teaching artist Nathalie Nunez.

No comments:

Post a Comment