Crayola launches program to encourage creativity through art

Crayola LLC has launched the “Champion Creatively Alive Children” professional development program to empower art teachers to become the “chief creative officers” in their schools. Crayola has teamed up with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) to create this program to emphasize creativity as a 21st century skill and address the need for arts-infused education in schools.

On August 9, the U.S. Department of Education hosted a professional development event  based on this program at its national headquarters to put Department staff in touch with teachers and principals. All participants, including principals and teachers from the Northeast, were told “don’t come as you are, come as you were” with a child-like spirit.

“We’re hosting this event today because Secretary Duncan and the Department recognize the importance of integrating the arts into teaching and learning from cradle to career,” said Suzanne Immerman, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Education.  “Our students today really need more than knowledge and skills to succeed. They need ingenuity and imagination, and arts education is the ideal way to infuse creativity and critical thinking in their efforts to be productive citizens in a global workforce.”

At the session, Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, l presented key findings from the Committee’s newly-released report, “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.”

The “Champion Creatively Alive Children” professional development program includes videos showcasing how arts-infused education builds the 4Cs – critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication. A fifth video devoted to arts-infused education advocacy helps art teachers become the chief creative officer in their schools. Each video tells the story of a school that was awarded one of 20 “Champion Creatively Alive Children” mini-grants from Crayola and NAESP for the innovative ways they are integrating art across the curriculum. Five facilitator guides accompany the video series to enable principals and teachers to lead workshops and staff and parents’ meetings around art as a way to building 21st century skills.  The entire series is available at no charge on Crayola.com.

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