Descriptions and Tentative Assignments

Arts Enrichment Programs

Dancing Classrooms (5th grade) • This perennial favorite teaches the art of ballroom dance, culminating in a performance for parents and peers. Our dancers have been featured in the film Mad Hot Ballroom, and participated in citywide competitions. Dancing Classrooms offers a 10-session social development program utilizing ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of not only the children who participate in the program but also the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children. With core values of respect, compassion and creating a safe space, Dancing Classrooms Teaching Artists create environments and model behaviors that offer children a place to thrive during their school day. The program helps develop important skills and behaviors in students, including civility, respect, teamwork, and self-discipline.

Guggenheim Learning Through Art (3rd grade) • New York's famed Guggenheim Museum has created an innovative program focusing on the intersection of art and science. LTA cultivates student creativity by designing sustained, process-oriented art projects that support learning across the curriculum. During the 20-week in-school residency, our students examine, discuss, and create works of art. Past years have featured Da Vinci inspired inventions, the science of color, and the artistic rendering of kinetic and mechanical energy. Children make multiple visits to the museum which offers new insights into art and challenges them to think critically about art and ideas. Each residency year culminates in an in-school exhibition featuring the work of every child in the grade, and selected student works are exhibited in the annual A Year with Children exhibition held at the Guggenheim Museum.

Music Theory and Performance with Betina Hershey (full: K-2nd grade) (mini: 3rd-4th grade) (graduation: 5th grade) • Local musician, teacher, and composer Betina Hershey brings in innovative methods of child music literacy with a great sense of fun to our kindergarten through fourth graders, and will direct the musical performances for our fifth grade graduation. The early childhood program (K-2) introduces important musical concepts that continue as the children rise to the next grade maintaining the music literacy level already achieved. This program is based on the Kodaly music method with the idea that every single human being can sing on pitch, feel the beat, keep rhythm, learn to sight sing, notate music, and understand music as a language. Every grade will have the chance to attend and participate in a Sing-Along Holiday Assembly, with the third, fourth, and fifth grades receiving an additional Folk Sing-Along Assembly. Ms. Betina also provides “Music While You Wait,” during drop-off for the students in the auditorium (various mornings).

New York City Children’s Theater (4th grade) • In the Literature at Play program, teaching artists lead classes through acting, playwriting and songwriting workshops, resulting in each class’s adaptation of a children’s book. The residency culminates in a Sharing Day in which students present their original plays or musicals to their parents as well as children in other grades. Our long partnership with New York City Children’s Theater has encouraged them to pilot theater-based anti-bullying programs (featured in Scholastic News) and a work-in-progress touring musical designed for students with special needs.

Puppetry (2nd grade) •
Second graders learn the art of puppetry, from creation to performance under the tutelage of a Marquis Studios teaching artist. Each student creates his or her own papier-mâché puppet to use in an original performance. The student creates distinct, recognizable characters that come alive through costumes, props, shape of features and expressions. The class learns the various skills of puppetry art, which include design, sketching, sculpture and painting. Once the puppets are made, the class writes a script and begins the puppet show production—staging, scenery design, music and sound effects. In the rehearsal process, the students are encouraged to build vocal projection and theater skills. Self-confidence and free expression are enhanced through this process.

Queens Museum (4th-5th grade) •
The Queens Museum is a vital local institution, occupying The New York State Building featured in the 1964 World's Fair. Our partnership with QM sees every fourth and fifth grader engaging with contemporary artists in the classroom and at the museum, using the museum's permanent and temporary exhibitions as inspiration. Previous work has included explorations of bridge engineering, interior and exterior architecture, sculpture, picture book illustration (with the opportunity to meet acclaimed children's author and illustrator Brian Selznick), Warholian exploration of pop art, and a study of physical modeling of the New York watershed, among other innovative projects. In addition to focusing on classical technical skills, the QM program inspires creativity in applied design as well as fine art. The QM partnership includes ArtsAccess—programming especially geared toward children with varying abilities providing tools that may be used every day in the classroom. Our contribution to this program is partially matched by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts.

STEAM Enrichment Programs

Architectural Design (1st grade) • Through hands-on model building and design projects, Marquis Studios helps students discover the architectural process using math, vocabulary, culture, design and problem solving. Students are divided into teams to design a building such as a monument, sports center or school. Each team designs their project using plans and elevations to construct a scale model from cardboard and other materials. Skills include drawing to scale, model building, reading and creating architectural plans, drawing buildings as pictures (rendering) and drawing buildings to scale (elevation).
DNA Learning Center (5th grade) • This residency brings the excitement of molecular biology to P.S. 144 in partnership with the educational arm of famed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, home of Dr. James Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA's double helix structure. The DNALC’s program of genetics laboratory experiences includes a variety of hands-on experiments to introduce students to the wonderful world of molecular biology.
Other Enrichment Programs

Mission Be (3rd grade) •
Mission Be provides mindfulness-based social emotional learning to help children thrive academically and beyond. Mission Be offers an 8 Week Mindfulness Program with eight weekly lessons (each 30-45 min) taught by Master’s level Mission Be trained staff or educators. The program is based on mindfulness practices designed to improve student learning and school climate, reduce stress, increase focus, improve empathy, emotional regulation, and emotional intelligence, increase resilience, and improve physical and emotional well-being.

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