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Arts for Learning at Summer Advantage 

Inspiring Scholars

IPS #103

June 19th - July 13th 2017

Program Summary

Arts for Learning partnered with Summer Advantage at IPS #103 to provide a supplemental enrichment program to prevent summer learning loss.

Inspiring Scholars was a four week academic and cultural enrichment program. Every Monday through Wednesday afternoon, Arts for Learning teaching artists were assigned different classrooms at Summer Advantage. Every morning the students in the program studied math, writing, and reading through Summer Advantage teachers and assistants. In the afternoon, the students participated in the enrichment delivered by the Arts for Learning teaching artists. With the help of Summer Advantage teaching assistants, the Arts for Learning teaching artists implemented their unique lessons through poetry, dance, calligraphy, drumming, and more.

Our Partnerships

In order to provide such a stimulating learning experience for IPS #103, Arts for Learning partnered with Summer Advantage. Their mission is to harness the power of summer learning to raise the educational achievement of all students. Through our partnership, approximately 170 kindergarten through sixth grade students attended this program aimed to prevent summer learning loss for young students.

The Creative Team

Arts for Learning had a total of 16 teaching artists in the summer of 2017. The teaching artists created their own lesson plan connecting the curriculum with the art form they specialize in. Teaching Artists such as Beverly Roche (Tableaux/ Theatre) and Carol Tharp Perrin (Collage/ Visual Arts/ Creative Movement/ Dance) were able to attend Inspiring Scholars throughout the whole duration of the program.  Several teaching artists returned once again to the summer program. These artists included: Bob Sanders (Storytelling), Garret Uyeno (Japanese Calligraphy),  Laurie Cutsinger (Dance), Lawrence Clark (Drumming), Carol Tharp Perrin and Larry Gindhart (Creative Movement/Dance), Reed Steele (Mime), Ronne Stone (African Dance),  and Tony Styxx ( Spoken Word/ Hip Hop Art). Arts for Learning also welcomed new artists to the summer program. These artists included: Amauunet Ashe (Dance), Jan Aldridge (Harp Music), Melissa Quimby (Clay), Jalynn Simmons (Drumming), Michael Mirabile (Print Making) and Theon Lee (Spoken Word/ Hip Hop).

The Creative & Learning Process

Throughout the four-week program, students ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade experienced the following types of art:


Kindergarten A: Drumming, Clay, Creative Music/Dance, Tableaux/ Theatre

Kindergarten B: Spoken Word/ Hip Hop, Mime, Harp Music, Japanese Calligraphy

Class 1A & B: African Dance, Tableaux/ Theatre, Drumming, Spoken Word/ Hip Hop

Class 2A: Drumming, Spoken Word/ Hip Hop, Japanese Calligraphy, African Dance

Class 3A: Dance, Drumming, Spoken Word/ Hip Hop, Collage

Class 3B: Tableaux, Collage, Storytelling, Dance

Class 4A: Creative Movement/ Dance, Printmaking, Tableaux, Storytelling

Class 5A: Spoken Word/ Hip Hop, Modern Dance, Printmaking, Drumming

Every Monday afternoon before they headed to their assigned classrooms, all of the Inspiring Scholar students came together in the gymnasium for a performance.  Each Monday the Inspiring Scholars were introduced to a new artist and a new form of art. The students were expected to actively engage in the presentation to further their understanding of the art form. On the first Monday of the program, the students welcomed Griot Drum Ensemble and their presentation of Storytellers Drum. The following week, Melissa Gallant introduced the participants to the art of harp music. On the third Monday of the program, the scholars were engaged in percussive dance with Fiddle n’ Feet. On the last Monday of the program, the participants enjoyed Asante Tales from Deborah Asante.


The Inspiring Scholar students not only experienced and learned the different art forms taught to them, but they were also given the opportunity to teach another peer group through “Perform and Inform”. The students were able to “Perform and Inform” every Thursday of the program when they were paired with a different class. Through “Perform and Inform” the students were given the chance to teach another class about the art form they had been exposed to, the techniques that came with mastering the art form, and the materials or instruments they used throughout the week. This opportunity not only gave the students initiative, but it also made them more confident in knowledge and more comfortable with their subject.


The final day of the Inspiring Scholars program concluded with the last round of “Perform and Inform” from the students and their teaching artists. On this final day, the Arts for Learning partnered with Collaborations of Generation. The collaboration was made possible by Carol Tharp Perrin, who wanted to set the “Perform and Inform” section of Inspiring Scholars as an opportunity to showcase the senior’s culminating artwork.

Meaningful Student Learning

Arts for Learning Teaching Artist: "The students learned well progressively and matured in the art form well. They began to learn to work together, demonstrate physical self-control and express creativity during the theatre games and sketches.” 


Summer Advantage Teaching Assistant: “I truly enjoyed the pantomiming and actor exercises. They seemed to connect with most of the students and even those who didn't quite connect, they did participate. I definitely learned some things that I didn't know and I think other students can benefit from the experience!” 



Arts for Learning Teaching Artist: “Students were great! Excited to learn, create and ask questions. I enjoyed seeing their faces light up with joy to be artists.”

Closing Thoughts

The partnership between the Arts for Learning and Summer Advantage affected approximately 170 students through the four-week program. Each student in the program was able to experience a minimum of four types of art forms. The month long program helped scholars stay engaged and active in learning during the summer. It provided them with a fun, safe, and creative environment to explore new unique forms of art. The program not only provided benefit to the students, but it also provided benefits to the teaching artists. Since the artists were paired with a new class each week, the artists were able to learn and grow within different grade levels. This made it possible for the artists to become comfortable in teaching different grade levels since each classroom brought different challenges and lessons. Without hesitation, the artists were able to adapt to teaching a new grade level easily.


Without a doubt, the Inspiring Scholars program left an impact on the participating students. The Summer Advantage program not only provided the scholars with extra instruction on core school subjects like math and reading which enhanced their learning, but also provided the students with an opportunity to explore within the arts. The Arts for Learning gave the scholars a supplemental enrichment program that allowed them to experience different art forms.  

Written By:

Sandy Rivera

Summer Intern, 2017

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Class of 2019

B.S. Education