Thursday, November 1, 2001

PeachStar Partners to Infuse Arts into Georgia Middle School Curriculum

PeachStar Education Services, the Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) are collaborating on a project to infuse the arts into all aspects of classroom learning. The multifaceted project includes a 30-minute television program made with the help of SCAD's video and photography resources and scheduled to air over the PeachStar satellite network to schools across the state as well as on Georgia Public Television. Additionally, the project includes a website with the supporting curriculum materials and activities for teachers and students and a traveling exhibit of key pieces from the state collection of art featured in the program.

The video, entitled "SmARTistic: Experiencing Academics Through the Arts," begins with an introduction by Marie Barnes, First Lady of Georgia, and features interactions with the following Georgia artists:

* Bill Alexander
* Patricia Alexander
* Benny Andrews
* Barbara Brozik
* Robert Clements
* Glenn Dair
* Cheryl Goldsleger
* Kerry Moore
* Edward Moulthrop
* Ayokunle Odeleye
* Rocio Rodriguez
* Pamela Ross
* Ben Smith

"SmARTistic" offers a thorough examination of the featured pieces of art and a strong focus on art's tie to mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts topics. "SmARTistic" will air in Georgia classrooms via PeachStar's channel 420 every Friday in November (except for 11/23) and on into December.

In Spring of 2002, Georgia Council for the Arts is planning a tour around the state that will make some of the state collection?s most intriguing pieces available to be seen in person by Georgia learners of all ages.

This project draws upon the state's rich cultural heritage to create an exciting arts-based curriculum to improve student achievement in the critical areas of math, science, language arts, technology, and social studies. Infusing the academic curriculum with art and technology creates a dynamic learning environment in which students can draw on their natural talents and love of creative exploration to master core competencies.

While this program will be interesting and available to learners of all ages, the curriculum for this project will be targeted at the middle grades level. Success in middle school is vital to continued success in high school and adulthood. Research shows that these students are developing the capacity to think abstractly and critically, and projects such as this one will foster this capacity. This project will allow middle grades students to explore their abstract thinking skills in an engaging way.

Additionally, this effort will give teachers an effective way to introduce students to the arts within the existing curriculum framework.

For more information on this project, contact Denise Wingate, Project Manager, Community Education, PeachStar Education Services Division at