Toms River Students Infuse Arts Through Grant from Charitable Foundation

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May 22, 2019— Dancing is one of the ways Silver Bay Elementary School has infused the arts into the curriculum as part of its YA Arts Lab, a grant program funded by the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation in partnership with Young Audiences Arts for Learning.

On May 16, second-grade students who have been dancing their way through curriculum had the opportunity to showcase their knowledge of dance and animal habitats for family and sponsors of this program. As a result of the 16-week program and under the guidance of Young Audiences teaching artist Laura Marchese, students learned the fundamental elements of dance– space, time, and energy– and how this art form could enhance their learning in and out of the classroom. They eagerly awaited each session and actively contributed to building lessons that resonated through the halls of Silver Bay. As students connected their classroom learning with this form of creative expression, their pride and confidence soared.

As a culminating activity each class studied various animal habitats, then combined their knowledge with the inspiration they received from their Dance to Learn sessions to assemble a dramatic dance habitat performance that soared and dived through the planet. To the delight of all in attendance, students traveled from Living Seas, to a Woodland Forest, across the African Savanna, to the Tropical Rainforest, blending an original interpretive dance into a whole class habitat scene.

The YA Arts Lab has been an extraordinarily popular part of the school’s 2018-2019 curriculum. From Japanese drumming to fun, hands-on chemistry lessons to Hip-Hop Fundamentals, students have benefited greatly from an arts-infused education.