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I am Kristen Paglia, CEO of P.S. ARTS, and I am very proud to be kicking off our new blog series highlighting the current programs and initiatives that each of our team members feels especially inspired by. I loved the idea when I heard it, because I know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed working in nonprofit, especially as we continue to redefine our purpose and priorities in response to the impact of the pandemic and social justice crises on the communities we serve. This blog series provides a brief reprieve from the pressure we feel confronting the massive scale of challenges we face in achieving our long-term vision and reminds us to practice self-care by taking notice of and celebrating progress as it happens. In that spirit, I am especially excited to share about the brand new P.S. ARTS stARTer packs.

The idea for stARTer packs came out of the remote art programs we developed over the months students were learning from home. Since it was impossible for Teaching Artists to teach in-person and, in many cases, impossible to provide synchronous virtual classes, the P.S. ARTS program team developed online visual arts curriculum guides with step-by-step instructions for projects and links to digital support resources. Now, as we navigate ongoing COVID restrictions in schools and Teaching Artist shortages, P.S. ARTS stARTer packs present an alternative to expensive and logistically complicated in-person art programs by providing classroom teachers with everything they need to implement a rich, engaging, state education standards-based visual arts program in their classrooms. Each P.S. ARTS stARTer pack contains:

  • A P.S. ARTS “basics” art supply kit for every participant.
  • A 10-week curriculum integrating the visual arts with social emotional, literacy, science, and learning objectives.
  • A detailed instructor manual with links to teaching resources including original digital content created by P.S. ARTS Teaching Artists and programs staff.

P.S. ARTS was able to pilot the stARTer pack curriculum in two school districts last summer and received great reviews from school administrators and students. I love so many things about the P.S. ARTS stARTer packs, but I think the thing I am most excited about is that schools and parents have a high-quality, affordable (only $25 per child for 10 one-hour lessons and all the needed supplies) option to get arts into classrooms during these challenging times. We call them stARTer kits because we believe that lifting the financial and practical barriers of providing students with first-rate arts programming will kick-start more interest and long-term investment in ensuring equitable access to arts education in public schools.

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To learn more about getting your class a stARTer Pack click here and fill out this form so your students can start learning and creating with P.S. ARTS!

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