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.

2019 – 2020 Grant Winners

Bringing Non-Fiction to Life
Palmer Catholic Academy

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Linda Earp, Principal
This school plans to use art-infused instruction to bring non-fiction to life and serve as a collaborative bridge that connects students to their personal heritage, self-identity, and broader community. Speakers including Apollo 15 Commander David Scott, who will address students about NASA, and an archeologist who has descended seven times to explore the Titanic will be part of their non-fiction “stories come to life” series. Partnerships with the Cummer Museum and a global art exchange program will help students see the world through a broader lens as they take their STEAM curriculum to new levels.

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CARES Student Club Expands Culturally Responsive Program
Lake Riviera Middle School

Brick, New Jersey
Kevin Campbell, Principal
Establishing a culturally responsive learning environment that supports the social and emotional needs of their diverse students has been a priority for this middle school. They will implement a new strategy to provide a safe, inclusive place where students can creatively express themselves. CARES (Compassionate, Accessible, Responsive, Expressive, Socially-Aware) is the new student club which will work with the school’s Creative Leadership Team to plan ways of using the arts to address cultural diversity and plan a gallery to display students’ creative work.

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Community School Extends Their Creative Culture
Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School

Eire, Pennsylvania
Karin Ryan, Principal
Building upon the involvement of many local partners that support this Erie County Community School, a needs assessment and action plan identified strategies to remove barriers to student success. Because creative experiences and family engagement rose to the top, the grant focuses on arts-infused family engagement events that bring together community organizations including the United Way, Family Services, and local businesses and universities. Enjoying arts-rich, robust, and memorable learning experiences together during extended-day events will be instrumental in engaging families and creating the desired collaborative, creative culture.

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Creative Thread Woven throughout Teaching and Learning
Rosa L. Parks Elementary School

Hyattsville, Maryland
Dr. Rhonda Summey Hester, Principal
After several years of participating in creatED® professional learning courses, this school’s Creative Leadership Team plans to more deeply embed the creative approach throughout the school. Families will be engaged in Art-Math, STEAM, and Art-Reading nights. Teacher leaders will conduct learning walks throughout the school to identify evidence of creative learning across the curriculum. Students will use creatED self-assessment rubrics and faculty will use the creatED Portrait of Progress™ to assess their growth. Administrators will work with the entire learning community to build a trusting environment where co-problem-solving is intentional.

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Cultural Exploration and Collective Expression
Hope Valley Elementary School

Hope Valley, Rhode Island
Giuseppe Gencarelli
Students’ cultural awareness of artistic traditions within the local community and globally will be strengthened as they participate in performing and visual art experiences and create a student-led blog to showcase the role of arts in learning and cultural understanding.

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Deep Partnership with Museum Goes Beyond Field Trips
Arkansas Arts Academy Elementary

Rogers, Arkansas
Matt Young, Principal
When a museum’s artifact collection is routinely integrated into cross-curricular classroom projects and serves as students’ learning laboratory, the school-museum partnership is much deeper than an occasional field trip. When a school has on faculty an educator whose full-time position is Director of Arts Integration and Museum Partnerships, the commitment to working closely to foster a significant, sustainable relationship is clear. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Arkansas Art Academy are developing this closely entwined relationship that will serve as a model for other school-museum immersive experiences.

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Empowering Students and Educators with Self-Assessment Guidance
Edward M. Felegy Elementary School

Hyattsville, Maryland
Dr. Trevor Liburd, Principal
Teacher leaders at this elementary school have participated in creatED professional development for several years and have cascaded the experiences to colleagues and students. This grant’s focus is to empower all teachers to design and self-assess rigorous arts-integration curriculum by joining one of three PLC groups, scaffolded to address different levels of expertise. The creatED Portrait of Progress will help educators gather and document evidence of the impact of creative teaching strategies on students. One component of the teacher and student self-assessments will reflect their collaborative relationships with preeminent local museums where they plan to provide extended learning experiences.

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Evidence-Based Celebration of Learning
Magee Elementary School

Genesee Depot, Wisconsin
Sue Sterner, Principal
Inspired by the meta-analysis studies that John Hattie has done on effective teaching practices, the school built an action plan that focuses on the strategies that positively impact student achievement. The plan includes learning walks where peer observation and feedback are welcomed, multi-age classrooms that focus on individual strengths and needs rather than age, and collaboration that honors helping others be successful. The art teacher will co-teach with classroom teachers, demonstrating how collaboration helps everyone learn—regardless of age or role. The instructional coach will help teachers connect with each other to support the creative work they are each doing.

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FLEXIBLE Thinking Inspires Innovation
Harrison Elementary School

Livingston, New Jersey
Cynthia Healy, Principal
The acronym FLEXIBLE (Find, List, Explore, X-Out, Imagine, Blend, Limit, and Embrace) frames the process that teachers and students will use to solve real-world problems in a rigorous STEAM program. Partnering with Crayola, other Livingston schools, and Montclair Art Museum’s Studio on Wheels mobile outreach vehicle, the school will expand the reach of their creatED professional learning and engage students, faculty, and families in creative collaboration projects that address social-emotional learning and STEAM.

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Innovation Forums and Passion Projects Energize Learners
Ruckersville Elementary School

Ruckersville, Virginia
Donna Payne, Principal
Using the district’s Lead Innovator program, this school’s teacher leaders will guide and inspire colleagues. They are establishing a Collaboration Lounge (envision a Maker Space where teachers are the learners). Here they will share Passion Projects and examples of their project-based learning units. The goal is to expand the use of student-driven Passion Projects in all grade levels, as teachers build their own mindsets as innovators.

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Inquiry and Interest-Based Learning
Pleasant Valley Intermediate School

Kunkletown, Pennsylvania
Todd Breiner, Principal
Moving away from lecture-style professional development, the Creative Leadership Team plans to shift teachers’ and students’ mindsets to be more inquiry driven, a more natural state of investigating interests. Knowing how settings influence thinking they will design a Mindfulness Room and CREATE Lab. The objective is to help students identify and solve real-world problems based on their interests and inquiry. Teachers will be trained by their Creative Leadership Team on ways to shift to a creative growth mindset.

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Overcoming Math Anxiety with Art
The Palmdale Aerospace Academy

Palmdale, California
Priyadarshini Darbari, Principal
The objective is to break the cycle of math anxiety and math trauma that become barriers that can linger from young ages to adulthood. This school plans on using the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Art Education Association’s best practices guidance to help teachers and students move away from rote memorization to enjoy and understand math using accessible art-rich on-ramps. Their family activities will reinforce the playful sense of mastery and curiosity that builds mathematical confidence.

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Partnership-Rich Project-Based Learning
Graceland Park/O’Donnell Heights School

Baltimore, Maryland
Johanna Mullally, Principal
Taking their deep commitment to project-based learning to the next level, educators at this school have been intentional in forming significant partnerships with museums and community organizations. Three institutions are key to their Recycling Projects plan: the Jewish Museum of Maryland, American Visionary Art Museum, and Young Audiences of Maryland. Student-led projects will use visual art and music to look at the history and future of recycling. Starting with autumn visits to the Scrapyards: Inventors of Recycling exhibit at the Jewish Museum and weaving professional development for teachers on music and art-rich project-based learning throughout both semesters, their yearlong program will be showcased at a spring conference.

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Personalized Global Projects
Fletcher Elementary School

Cambridge, Vermont
Chris Dodge, Principal
The essential question that will guide students’ learning projects is “How can I make the world better?” Teachers and students are being challenged to “Be the best version of yourself” as they look within themselves and at the world holistically. Students will design projects that are arts-integrated, collaboratively crafted, and address an overarching idea that is important to them. These personalized global projects will fit within one or more of the four focal areas: health and well-being, reducing inequity, quality education, and justice within institutions. The arts will serve an essential role as students conceive, explore, and act upon these big ideas.

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Reawakening a Sense of Wonder
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School

Trenton, New Jersey
Dr. Faye Lewis, Principal
Using arts-integrated sensory learning challenges, students will explore curricular content in creative ways. Designing, sketching, and constructing the scenes from novels and using sculpture to demonstrate math and science concepts deeply embed content knowledge while instilling a sense of wonder and joy in diverse learners. Guided by the national art, science, math, and language arts standard, arts-integration projects will include literature-inspired models of flying machines, demonstrations of movement in living and non-living objects, and visual presentations of story events. The cross-curricular units will be shared at a statewide arts-integration conference in July.

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SEEK Insights and Evidence
Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School

North Haven, Connecticut
Todd Solli, Principal
Using the creatED SEEK™ protocol to read art and develop inquiry skills in students, the faculty plans to embed more art-integration strategies and units into their curriculum. As teachers embrace the creative teaching and learning approaches and deepen their use of new strategies they will document the evidence of change in the creatED Portrait of Progress, a self-assessment tool that helps teachers move through their journey.

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STEAM Fuels Out of Box Thinking
Ithica Elementary School

Villa Rica, Georgia
Colleen Jones, Principal
STEM coordinators throughout the school will help infuse the arts into classroom projects and support teachers along the journey of moving from being STEM certified to STEAM certified. Their plan is to incorporate the arts as fuel for deductive and inductive reasoning, student-led problem solving, and guided inquiry to inspire flexibility and adaptability.

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Student Agency Taken to a New Level
Arnold Elementary School

Arnold, Maryland
Shauna Kauffman, Principal
What if students shared responsibility for planning, teaching, and reflecting upon the arts-infused projects in their classrooms? How could students help the school’s Creative Leadership Team, arts-integration specialist, and visiting artists-in-residence design units of study and participate in a co-teaching process? As an arts-integration school, Arnold Elementary is deeply committed to student agency. They plan to expand the promising practices they follow by engaging students in more significant leadership roles and honoring student input in assessing the success of lessons. Teachers and students will be engaged in deep reflection that results in revision—following the continuous improvement process that 21st century teachers and learners need to practice.

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Student Creative Leadership Mentors
South Side Elementary School

Bristol, Connecticut
David Huber, Principal
Pairing elementary students with young adults from Bristol Central High School, a mentor/mentee program will be created to strengthen skills and mindsets in the areas of community involvement, social-emotional learning, and global citizenship. Student pairs will meet monthly after being matched by an interest and need survey. Community outreach includes City Hall and local nature centers where many of the mentoring experiences will occur. The interactions are expected to be mutually advantageous, providing growth opportunities for mentees and their mentor teens.

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Student Creative Team Provides Input to Faculty
Momauguin Elementary School

East Haven, Connecticut
Diane MacKinnon, Principal
Teachers will lead and participate in book study groups to understand the compelling evidence and strategies for using arts integration. Teacher leaders will coach and co-teach with colleagues using a gradual release model to build faculty members’ confidence with art-infused projects. Natural habitats including the Long Island Sound will be explored through an arts-integration lens and documented through digital portfolios. Students will form a Creative Leadership Team to provide input to teachers on cross-curricular experiences, and this team will support other students to develop creative skills schoolwide.

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