Elementary school teachers learning to include arts in regular classroom lessons were learning to play the ukelele recently as part of their effort to include arts education in their regular classes. Humboldt County teachers have been working on ways to include arts education through the North Coast Arts Integration Project for the past three years.
“We’re hoping to increase student engagement and social and emotional development,” said Heather Gaiera, a former fourth-grade science teacher who is program coordinator.
According to Gaiera, the federal grant which has funded the effort to have art instructors teach teachers and students in Eureka and Klamath schools is in the fourth and final year.
As part of the training, 30 teachers from elementary and middle schools are becoming students to learn theater, visual arts, dance, and music for use in regular classroom lessons. Most of them are kindergarten through second grade teachers, but some are from older grades as well.And some have returned for more instruction.
There is work proceeding on another grant request for future years, but the federal funding is uncertain.