La Escuelita – Dance Anywhere (Photo by Michael A. Garcia)
(Berkeley, CA) – The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) announced that Luna Dance Institute (LDI) in partnership with three public school sites is a recipient of the Arts Incentive Grant (AIG) to fund standards-based dance programming through LDI’s School & Community Alliances program. The AIG funds support OUSD public schools in developing comprehensive art and maker education programs that address critical issues of access and equity in partnership with a community-based organization.
LDI’s School & Community Alliances Program works with schools, districts, agencies and districts to build strong, sustainable dance programs. The program builds partnerships of artists, teachers, and public schools to implement comprehensive K-5 standards-based dance education programs that include model dance classes, side-by-side coaching, in-services, and family dance events in an effort to create sustainably viable programs to reach those with the least access to the arts.
LDI has worked with a number of schools in OUSD including New Highland Academy which became the first elementary school in California where all children received sequential, standards-based dance every week throughout the academic year. With support from the AIG grant, LDI will expand dance programming at Grass Valley Elementary and Acorn Woodland and Bella Vista Early Childhood Education Programs, and implement a dance program at Emerson Elementary.
Emerson Teachers Engage in Dance at the School-Wide Fall Professional Development Training
Indi McCasey, OUSD Visual and Performing Arts Program Consultant:
“Arts Incentive Grants are intended to jumpstart long-term relationships between OUSD schools and local community arts organizations in order to strengthen the local arts ecosystem and connect more young artists in Oakland to caring, creative educators and mentors. It’s about more than developing an artistic skill.”
“Most of these programs bring the arts to students all year round and seek to also enhance schools’ efforts to provide hands-on and kinesthetic learning opportunities that also develop key social skills.”
LDI’s work with OUSD involves building cultures of dance with school and district leaders, classroom teachers, instructional assistants, students, and family. Through establishing dance to be sustainable and supported by the school community in sites throughout the district we envision a future where each child receiving dance is a norm.
New Highland Elementary – Elbow Shape (Photo by L. Wingrod)
For over a decade, private foundations and state government agencies have also supported Luna’s School & Community Alliances program; and their support has ensured program continuity. This year’s funders are the California Arts Council, Sam Mazza Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, Clorox Company Foundation, and the Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation.
Press Release Via: Luna Dance Institute