The nonprofit arts group named for Lafayette’s own famed artist George Rodrigue is working to bring a model arts education initiative to Louisiana’s public schools.

Started in North Carolina in 1995, A + Schools is an established arts education approach that “infuses art, reflection, performance and other methods of understanding into every subject of learning.”

“The network provides teachers with the essentials to think more creatively about how students can apply learning to the real world, and how they can present curricula to students in ways they learn best,” according to a release touting the program. “University research reveals dramatic improvements including elevated student achievement, better student and teacher attendance, decreased discipline problems, stronger parental and community involvement and a more creative and enjoyable educational environment.”

In addition to North Carolina, A + Schools has been successfully implemented in Oklahoma and Arkansas before recent funding cuts shuttered the Arkansas initiative.

According to the A+ Schools website, arts integration is achieved through “continuous practitioner-led professional development, statewide support networks for teachers and administrators, and school partnerships with parents, community cultural resources, colleges and universities, and the media.”

The program’s success in other states has prompted the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts to team up with LSU and Oklahoma A+ Schools in endorsing the program for Louisiana. The three groups will also be hosting information sessions across the state on the arts education movement and its viability here at home, with Lafayette’s meeting scheduled for June 6 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Click here to RSVP online for Lafayette’s A+ Schools information session, or call 504-324-9614 to RSVP by phone.

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