learn / 2016

Connecting Children to Art in Nature: Provide a meaningful holistic link between art and nature.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Anna Bing Arnold Children's Center

To provide holistic project-based learning experiences for the children of Anna Bing Arnold Children's Center through the intergration of the Connecting Children to Art and Nature Program.


Please describe your project proposal.

To be able to provide a nature based arts program for the children of the Anna Bing Arnold Children’s Center utilizing the non-profit arts program, Connecting Children to Art and Nature (CCAN). CCAN is a comprehensive multi-disciplinary arts program which uses art and nature as a mode of learning to facilitate the development of the whole child.

Which of the learn metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Proficiency in English and Language Arts and Math
  • Early education

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • California State University, Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to learn?

Overview:

Connecting Children to Art in Nature (CCAN) promotes multi-disciplinary explorations through a variety of settings with the sole purpose of providing a meaningful and artistic link between the child and nature. The comprehensive arts and nature educational program adheres to the State Board of Education’s model of integrating three modes of instruction: • Subject centered • Instruction connecting themes and other disciplines • Instruction connecting the arts and other core subjects

Benefits of Art Experiences for Young Children:

By learning how to manipulate the variety of natural media and becoming masters of technique, children can better articulate their ideas and be empowered to communicate with visual language before they learn to read and write. Under the supervision of the CCAN Art Specialist, the children would also be encouraged to think for themselves in creative ways and also to move ahead with their creations in a more sophisticated manner. The CCAN Art Specialist would work together with ABACC teachers and be involved in helping them understand the process of how children learn through experiences with art and nature.

Making Learning Visible:

Documentation would contribute to the extensiveness and depth of learning gained by the children from their work; make it possible for parents to become aware of their children’s experiences in school; provide opportunities for the teachers to sharpen and focus their attention on understanding what children know and their role in the children’s experiences; children can revisit their work to see what they are learning and their progress. It is important for children’s work to be documented because this encourages children to move forward or expand in their work as opposed to having their experiences only be a fading memory. The staff will meet weekly with the CCAN Art Specialist to evaluate the creative experiences, what has been accomplished, what directions should the next project take, what art experiences have been most successful, what have been least successful, and any particular concerns.

Overall Benefits to ABACC:

By working with CCAN, the Anna Bing Arnold Children’s Center would:

  • Extend the range of art experiences it currently provides;
  • Teach children to use a variety of art media to express themselves;
  • Teach art techniques to children so they would be able to channel behavior to allow them to release pent-up feelings of energy or stress;
  • Encourage children to feel a sense of accomplishment by creating art that is admired for its beauty and uniqueness;
  • Teach children to experience new emotions that come from creating something that will not be judged as right or wrong.
  • Teach children to communicate visually and creatively what they may not be able to communicate verbally.

Lastly, our project will help children develop higher self-esteem, cope with stress more effectively, increase communication skills, be creative and act in pro-social ways

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

We will define success by observing and documenting the process by which children are engaging in the Connecting Children to Art and Nature Program. Evidence can include:

  1. Children’s ability to use nature as a form of expression
  2. Children’s ability to manipulate materials within nature to represent an idea or plan
  3. Children’s ability to follow-through with a concept from start to finish
  4. Children’s excitement in engaging with the CCAN program and teacher
  5. Parents response to arts program based on feedback and documentation of the children’s experience
  6. Children’s ability to use vocabulary learned from CCAN to explain concepts and ideas
  7. Teachers use of natural materials to expand learning within the framework for the existing program

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support