Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 21, 2013

ACE puts funding fuel into STEAM program

Effort to beef up art curriculum
The Andover Townsman

---- — Students at Bancroft, Shawsheen and Andover High School will have the opportunity to work with author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka as part of the Andover school department’s Visiting Artist Program.

The program has been made possible thanks to the private Andover Coalition for Education, which is paying for the first two years of the initiative.

“Krosoczka is an ideal choice for the Visiting Artist Program because his career path exemplifies ideas that will inspire our students to recognize the importance of creativity and how it relates to their experiences,” said Meghan Michaud, a member of the Andover High fine arts faculty.

The Visiting Artist Program is designed to bring professional artists into schools throughout the district to share their creative process and allow students to immerse themselves in a concentrated arts experience, according to ACE.

“The program will complement and enhance the existing curriculum creating connections between the fine arts, sciences, and the language arts. Elementary, middle, and high school students will participate with visiting artists to immerse themselves in projects such as the recently approved cross-curricular event with Mr. Krosoczka,” said an ACE release.

The importance of the arts in education has been widely touted by educators. On Feb. 14, Congress showed its love for the effort by launching a new bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus dedicated to furthering the incorporation of art and design into STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). STEAM stands for STEM plus Art. According to the new federal group, “STEAM education promises to increase student engagement and unlock creative thinking and innovation.”

To have a deeper impact at the higher grades, ACE is also providing the initial funding for a new Mac computer lab for graphic arts at AHS.

“The new lab at AHS will allow our students to learn with the same tools and programs that they will find if they pursue design related subjects in college or career,” Michaud said in a release.

To create visibility for the Andover fine arts program, and to showcase the work of Andover students, ACE has also paid for art display systems in the Central Offices and at AHS.

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