Mr. Alfredo I. Velásquez and the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office is continuing its launch of the arts initiative in our county schools: Santa Cruz County Arts for Learning in partnership with Young Audiences. The program welcomed the first visiting artist in residence for the 2018-2019 school year the week of September 10th – 14th.
Erik Cork, author and creator of Cork’s Coast-to-Coast Classroom: Rebuilding the Writing Foundation, engaged third grade students and teachers in an all-day writing workshop designed to motivate and encourage all to celebrate a campus-wide love for literacy and language. Mr. Cork and his wife Cynthia, traveled from school to school with a truck load of equipment and student materials until his one of a kind, six hour writing presentation reached all 660 3rd graders from Elgin K-8, Patagonia Elementary, Little Red School, Lincoln Elementary, Mary L. Welty Elementary, A.J. Mitchell Elementary, Coronado Elementary, Challenger Elementary, Bracker Elementary, Calabasas K-8, Mountain View Elementary, and San Cayetano Elementary.
The students and teachers experienced Mr. Cork’s dynamic and highly interactive session filled with music, movement, and of course, rap that incorporated writing terminology, English Language Arts strategies, and FUN! Pencils were burning up the pages of the colorful workbook that went hand in hand with the presentation and students could hardly wait to show their finished work to their proud teachers. Students weren’t the only ones enjoying Mr. Cork and his positive energy, teachers walked away with effective approaches to teaching the writing standards and innovative tools to use back in their classrooms to enhance their writing lessons. A community reception was held mid-week to honor the artist in residence at the Americana Hotel where former Young Audiences volunteers, local organizations, and school communities could gather together and get to know the artist and his program.
The Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office sponsored the workshops and evening event with the support of Nogales Unified School District #1 who contributed to help cover costs for Nogales Public Schools. Thank you to District Superintendents and Principals who embraced the project and hosted the workshops. Santa Cruz County Arts for Learning is looking forward too many more arts integrated activities throughout the school year including the Holiday Nutcracker performance and spring music festivals.