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We started working with the Vermilion Parish School District to ensure that their students are receiving arts in their classrooms. Right now, we are working in Meaux Elementary with our PACE Program.
In 1999, in response to the need for sequential arts programming in elementary schools, the Lafayette Parish School System decided to start an arts program that could work in collaboration with the Acadiana Arts Council (now AcA). PACE (Primary Academic Creative Experiences) was created to assist schools in teaching the arts and teaching other academic subject areas through the arts. The program was designed to help schools establish a school environment rich in the arts.
PACE was based on the concept that children learn in a great number of ways, such as listening, speaking, acting, moving and creating. Research has shown that the arts can be used as an enriching educational tool to further stimulate learning, and that active learning experiences are not only effective but have long term positive results.
With that in mind, artists’ residencies were developed within several Title I elementary schools for Kindergarten through 3rd grade students. The residencies are intended to bring together practicing artists and teachers to learn from each other while they both teach and learn from their students. The classroom teachers play an active role in developing the lessons with the teaching artists. Each teacher provides the grade level information necessary for the teaching artist to design arts activities that focus on common thematic units and support existing classroom instruction. Individual art classes take place weekly throughout the school year.