learn / 2014

Bringing the arts back to public education one school at a time one child at a time

Bringing the arts back to public education one school at a time one child at a time

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Dream A World Education, Inc.

With professional artists, we bring a 6-week art program (music, dance, theatre and visual arts) to K-1 students in underserved areas.


Please describe yourself.

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.

With professional artists, we bring a 6-week art program (music, dance, theatre and visual arts) to K-1 students in underserved areas.

Does your project impact Los Angeles County?

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • South LA
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South Bay
  • Westside

What is your idea/project in more detail?

Each lesson plan is carefully crafted to take students somewhere around the world where they can identify with people just like them. From Mexico, to Kenya, Hawaii, Brazil, Israel, India, Haiti and more, children learn arts, language and cultural understanding so they can begin to grasp how they are part of a global family.

“I often say I am a poster child for early arts education. What I learned was not only about being

What will you do to implement this idea/project?

Dream A World Education founder, Grammy Award-Winner Bunny Hull brings a team of professional artists to your school. Through this six-week multi-arts residency, children learn music, dance, theatre and visual arts and discover the gifts that live within them. They learn the values of friendship, kindness, imagination and gratitude, as well as history, geography and social studies as they relate to each arts workshop. The residency includes a parent workshop, professional development, curriculum materials, a live performance, and culminates with a children’s presentation. Each week a performer/teaching artist from the initial performance brings a new art form to your school. Music curriculum kicks it off with the creation of an original class song with each class. Each class receives a recorded version of their song.

The Secrets of the Heart’s curriculum guide for K-2 links the arts experience to academic achievement and critical thinking skills in Language Arts, Listening/Speaking, History, Social Studies and the development of interpersonal skills. This program reveals the arts to children as it relates to culture and tradition, gives them a little geography and history and teaches them, through self-expression, how to have greater respect for themselves and each other.

This program is created to VAPA and Common Core Standards.

How will your idea/project help make LA the best place to LEARN today? In 2050?

Research indicates that more than 80% of the children in Los Angeles schools are Title One – below the poverty line. The high school drop out rate in 2008 was reported at 62%.

Every choice a child makes is based on how they perceive themselves and the world around them. It impacts their attitudes, the relationships they forge, and the way they interact with their families and figures of authority.

There’s a good reason why Dream A World Education focuses attention on children K-2. Early lessons have a lasting impact on a child. It is said that all the milestones relating to a child’s development happen before a child turns six. Their brain is like a sponge and a memory bank for all that enters their senses. Along with coordination, poise and stamina, patterns are formed, skills developed and the understanding of concepts and vocabulary are learned. This is the age when children learn the difference between right and wrong. It’s a time when social relationships are developed as they interact with each other and new adults as they are introduced into a school setting.

It is our aim to reach children in these most formative years. It’s true that the healthy evolution of a child depends on more than just their school experiences. They need a solid support system at home. Some children may or may not have that support, but we believe one unforgettable experience can change a life. It is our intention to provide that experience for every child we meet.

Whom will your project benefit?

  1. We Identify The Need

We target schools that have not only a need, but a real desire for arts programming, especially those schools which are underserved. It’s important to us to work closely with principals and teachers to create a warm environment that inspires an exchange of learning and an atmosphere of cooperation.

  1. We Know Who We Serve

Particular attention is paid to the population we are serving, their cultural background and to the educational, emotional or special needs of the children. Whether our program lasts for one day or six weeks, our goal is to recognize the individuality of each child.

  1. We Consult With Educators

We are constantly meeting with exceptional elementary educators to determine what children need, what works with existing curriculum and to explore new ways to improve our programming. We have a lot to learn from each other. In addition, there is an emphasis on consulting with other arts organizations to share and compare ideas in order to achieve the most effective lesson plans and highest level of excellence for our teaching artists.

  1. We Know Where We’re Going

It is the intention of Dream A World® to base our educational work in the Los Angeles area, and to then expand that outreach by targeting and identifying areas in the national and global community where our programs can be beneficial. Our future plans include developing educational programming for parents.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

Weingart Foundation Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Herb Albert Foundation Rosenthal Foundation Los Angeles County Arts Commission Hollywood Forever Water Buffalo Club Fidelity Charitable Trust

How will your project impact the LA2050 “Learn” metrics?

  • Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • Academic Performance Index scores
  • Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)
  • Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle school (Dream Metric)
  • Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.

Starting with early childhood education, by introducing the arts and understanding of universal values, Dream A World Education, Inc. brings arts to low-income students in Los Angeles with very unique programs that address the whole child. This organization is one-of-a kind in the field of arts education in that it uses the arts to directly address the soclal-emotional needs of children and teach them cultural understanding in their early formative years. They do this by using multidisciplinary arts disciplines to teach values and life-skills, nurturing children’s creativity and individuality and giving them specific tools which they can use over a lifetime to help them lead whole, healthy and successful lives.

We want children to know they have dreams and ambitions to keep them in school, to give them direction through their imagination and exploration of the arts. They will year after year obtain, reach academic goals, stay in school, and achieve their dreams. That is the dream of Dream A World Education, Inc.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.

Assessing the Results

There is an ongoing assessment of the children based on rubrics created for each workshop in the program. After each residency is completed there is a culmination and further assessment of the children’s participation, via the journals, and curriculum guides, a debriefing with teachers, the school’s principal and with the teaching artists involved to determine the impact we have had on the children. We are constantly looking for ways to improve what we’re doing. Based on these assessments, we are able to maximize the effectiveness of each program.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?

To see the acceptance of teachers, parents, and most of all, the children .

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.

We have been growing this program each year, so we know it is a possibility. From 1 school to 5 schools to 10 schools.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?

Two barriers: Reaching the Principals of the Schools we can serve. Funding to pay for this vital program

What resources does your project need?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)