Ashley River Elementary gets great results with arts infusion

Ashley River Elementary gets great results with arts infusion
August 30 19:50 2017 Print This Article

Two Charleston County School District (CCSD) schools – Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School (ARCAES) and Sanders-Clyde Creative Arts Elementary School (SCCAES) have each received a Distinguished Arts Program (DAP) grant from the South Carolina Department of Education. The schools will receive over $10, 000 to promote arts infusion into the curriculum and provide professional development for teachers. The grant is awarded for the 2017-18 school year.

Stella Tuten, a parent of two current Ashley River students, notes the importance of arts integration in the curriculum. An artist visited her fifth grader’s class last year. The artist had students dye different types of fabrics with natural dyes such as indigo, which was once grown in the lowcountry. The students learned the scientific method with dependent and independent variables, South Carolina history, and of course art.

Arts infusion is real world, hands-on learning. We don’t learn art, history, and science in isolation in our day-to-day activities. Students are more engaged and focused when they do hand-on activities. They learn through all their senses. Hands-on activities activate the brain making retention more likely. Such a learning environment also makes school more interesting and enjoyable.

While they are having fun, they are excelling in math, reading, Language Arts and other subjects. Test scores are far above the state average. 74% of students are performing at or above grade level in math, whereas the state average is 48%. 79% of students are performing at or above grade level in English, whereas the state average is 43%.

Ashley River is a West Ashley elementary school. It is a magnet school and available to students who reside in Constituent District 10. The spots are determined by lottery with priority given to siblings.