Crayola and NAESP are proud to help principals Champion Creatively Alive Children and support arts-infused education.

Arts-infused education teaches children the four Cs — communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity — skills they need to understand our increasingly interconnected world and thrive as 21st century citizens.

NAESP and Crayola have awarded 20 NAESP members with grants valued at $3,500 to help principals implement and document innovative arts-education projects at their schools and share best practices for arts education with fellow educators.

2017-18 Grant Winners


Art Helps Navigate the Complex Sense of Home and Place
Belle Chasse Academy
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Mary Swazey, Principal

Change and new transitions are ongoing for students whose families serve the United State military. Relocation constantly disrupts children’s established routines, increasing their need for a sense of connection to place and people. The Creative Leadership team, which includes two visual art teachers, along with the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, will provide professional development for colleagues on art integration to promote connectedness.


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Art-Integration Supports English Language Learners
Live Oaks Elementary

Fallbrook, California
Dr. Wendy Kerr, Principal

Building upon the district’s blueprint for success, the Creative Leadership Team will coach, co-plan and co-teach with colleagues, using art to support English Language Learners with visual and written communication. They will focus on the inquiry approach to learning and use student self-assessment portfolios to give learners increased control over their learning.

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BioInspire! Inventions Inspired by Mimicking Nature
Fort River Elementary

Amherst, Massachusetts
Diane Chamberlain, Principal

In collaboration with the University of Massachusetts and Museums10, the school’s Creative Leadership Team will provide a series of workshops for teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents on art-integration. They will focus on design thinking and engineering inventions, inspired by animal adaptions.


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Braided Stories Explore Self and Others
Lee Expressive Arts Elementary

Columbia, Missouri
Ed Elsea, Principal

Each student’s unique story will unfold to explore self and others, using the Multiliteracies approach of linking written and visual literacy. Through multimodal narratives, students will explore their personal identities. Teachers will be trained in the art of storytelling, weaving the art forms of tableaux, illustration, portrait, and mentor text, into oral traditions.

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Coaching Colleagues to Merge Math, Science and Art
Mary Pottenger Elementary School

Springfield, Massachusetts
Valerie Williams, Principal

School-wide, teacher-led professional development, based on art-integration, will help this learning community meet students’ academic and social/emotional needs. Coaching videos will be produced by and for the teachers, leveraging teacher leaders’ expertise to guide colleagues on how to integrate art into science and math lessons.


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Environmental Advocacy Weaves Together: Art, Natural History, and Activism
Montpeilier Elementary School

Laurel, Maryland
Carla Furlow, Principal

In partnership with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, students and teachers will analyze and synthesize the intersections between art, natural history, and advocacy. The Creative Leadership Team will help colleagues plan art-infused environmental projects that inspire activism. They will share their insights with the Prince George’s County Arts-Integration Network.


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Exploring Culture, Heritage and Personal Identity through Art
Corinth Elementary School

Corinth, Mississippi
Brian Knippers, Principal

This rural school has served as a model for Project-Based Learning and innovative teaching practices. Building upon their extensive collaborations with museums, the local high school, and Junior Auxiliary, they will deepen their use of art as the bridge connecting students to their personal heritage/identities and help them understand others.


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Extended Collaborative Team Planning
Joseph Pye Elementary School

Ladson, South Carolina
Wanda Carroll-Williams, Principal

In partnership with the Gibbs Art Museum, the school’s teacher leaders will help colleagues apply the Design Thinking process to their arts-integration and STEAM initiatives. Their Extended Collaborative Team Planning (ECTP) will increase collaborative planning time between the fine arts and classroom teachers, to co-create art-infused lessons. Students’ pre- and post-assessments will be based on the artistic processes in the arts standards: Create. Present. Respond. Connect. Progress will be tracked with digital portfolios.


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From a Child’s Perspective
Franklin Elementary School

Wadsworth, Ohio
Roger Havens, Principal

This Creative Leadership Team will narrate a story of what arts integration means to children. They will draw from students’ journal reflections regarding their freedom to create, not only in the school’s makerspace, but in every class, with every subject. In collaboration with the Akron Museum of Art, they will provide art-integration professional development for all teachers, to embed the creative approach to pedagogy school-wide.


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Handbook for Starting Art-Integration
Spring Ridge Elementary

Frederick, Maryland
Pattie Lee Barnes, Principal

 “What if teachers completed instructional rounds like doctors?” “What if the Arts Integration Leadership Team helped all staff fully understand the importance of creative pedagogy?” This school’s principal and teacher leaders have a deep commitment to embed school-wide, arts-infused teaching practices to increase student success and collaborative culture. They will write a Handbook for Arts-Integration Schools as a roadmap for others embarking on this journey.


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Innovation Lab Moves STEM School to STEAM
Otter Lake Elementary

White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Matthew Langsdale, Principal

Focused on self-directed learning and collaboration, students will connect with a sister school in Port au Prince, Haiti. They will use the design thinking process to generate innovative solutions to real-world problems. Professional development will be provided by the Creative Leadership Team, which includes the STEAM coach and a partnership with the University of Minnesota.


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Living Museum Uses Art to Bring History Alive
Willard School

Sanford, Maine
Deb Gaudreau, Principal

This school’s Creative Leadership Team will use art-infused strategies in a school-wide time travel project that will demonstrate the 4Cs: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. Imagine living in 1616, when Tisquantum helped early settlers survive winters, using the 4Cs skills. Fast forward to the 1800s when developing technology solved problems of that era, using the 4Cs. Teacher Professional Development will explore how the 4Cs were relevant in the past, are critical today, and prepare students for the future.


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Peer Coaching Supports Art-Integration School-wide
Governor Wolf Elementary

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Theo Quinones, Principal

Peer observation and coaching will help identify and increase creative instructional practices, improve collaborative culture and establish a “whole school mindset.” Teachers will develop and share promising practices, following the school’s belief that teachers are the driving force behind change. This initiative leverages the role of their art teacher and other creative leadership team members to serve as chief creative officers, coaches and co-planners, helping colleagues develop and implement art-integration projects.


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SEEKing New Insights
Marshall School

South Orange, New Jersey
Bonita Samuels, Principal

Building creative capacity is the Creative Leadership Team’s priority. In collaboration with the district arts supervisor, their PTA, and Crayola creatED coaches, the school’s teacher leaders will use the SEEK and OASIS protocols to help colleagues read art, decode images as if they were text, and coach each other in ways that scaffold teacher learning and align with their common vision.


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SLIDE into Promising Practices
Vero Beach Elementary

Vero Beach, Florida
Cynthia Emerson, Principal

In partnership with the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the school has established Project-Based Learning Academies where students use SLIDE: Science, Literacy, Inquiry, Design and Engineering to solve problems and understand others. Last year’s unit on “Dave the Potter” explored how this talented slave taught himself to be a master potter and poet, launched exploration guided by essential questions focused on “finding one’s voice.” This year, students will analyze school data to help redesign the school’s learning spaces.


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STEAM: Infusing Collaboration and Authentic Assessment Across the Curriculum
Circle Cross Ranch STEM Academy

San Tan Valley, Arizona
 Holly Dalby, Principal

This STEM academy is infusing art across their curriculum, leveraging the talents of their master teachers and chief science officers. Students will weave history and robotics into their STEAM projects. They will use three-dimensional artifacts and digital portfolios to document student growth.


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Student Advisory Program Based on Growth Mindset and Character
Charlotte Lab School

Charlotte, North Carolina
Mary Moss Brown, Principal

Based upon Angela Duckworth’s research on character development, every student in this school participates in an Advisory Program to foster social-emotional well-being. The play therapists will develop art-based Advisory Connections and provide professional development for teachers on how to weave art into their social-emotional learning program.


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Teachers Learning an Artist Mindset
Ticonderoga Elementary School

Ticonderoga, New York
Elizabeth Hayes, Principal

What if students saw teachers as learners and teachers learned to enjoy art-making? Classroom teachers will receive hands-on PD, exploring the Studio Approach to teaching—by creating, presenting, responding and connecting their lessons through the arts. Parents will also be engaged in these “arts mindset” adult learning experiences, reinforced by “family take home art projects” to bolster the importance of creative thinking beyond school.

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Therapeutic Arts: Power to Restore and Self-Regulate
Integrated Arts Academy

Burlington, Vermont
Bobby Riley, Principal

The community surrounding this school includes a blend of generational poverty and newly immigrated refugee families. Chronic feelings of hopelessness and fear have led to significant mental health issues. Children face complex, extended trauma. The therapeutic and restorative power of art experiences increases students’ resiliency and sense of self-efficacy and control as they face adversity. The school’s counselors, arts coaches, and art therapists will train teachers in a multi-modalities approach to intervention, based in the arts, with self-expression shaping self-regulation.


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Words to Reality: Art Assemblages Visually Summarize Books
Cerbat Elementary School

Kingman, Arizona
Vicki Trujillo, Principal

The Creative Leadership Team is refreshing the school’s approach to literacy by merging reading, writing and art-making. Students will bring “Words to Reality” as they create three-dimensional assemblages that convey narratives, demonstrate deep understanding of characters, and dramatize plots.

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