JUNE 7TH 2016
ARTICLE BY: ARTS INTEGRATION MENOMONIE
A.I.M. ‘s C.I.T.A. program pairs early childhood educators with professional teaching artists to deliver standards-based curricula through art infused lessons. This year’s C.I.T.A program included students birth through 3rd grade and extended to 5 different Menomonie schools, fifteen teachers and 8 UW-Stout pre-service teachers.
The first Arts Night featured the UW-Stout Child and Family Center (C.F.S.C.) who had been working with storyteller Kris Winter since January. Highlighting some of their favorite lessons, the CFSC Arts Night featured Marcia Wolf’s class recreating Old MacDonald Had A Farm, Rachael Stuart’s version of “Dog’s Colorful Day” and Allison Feller’s Mama Earth and Sister Sunshine teaching about different types of weather through storytelling and song.
Teaching artist Kris Winter also worked with the River Heights Kindergarten team which was featured on the second Arts Night. With teachers Det Bossany, Deana Gorecki and Tanya Staatz each playing leading roles, the entire River Height Kindergarten team reenacted the classic children’s story “Caps for Sale”. Also featured was the 4-K classroom from Little Sprouts Academy led by Rochelle Kroening. Performing songs about numbers and spelling as well as African chants, Kroening drummed and sang with her students alongside teaching artists percussionist Babatunde Lea and guitarist Yata Peinovich.
The final Arts Night featured the Wakanda Kindergarten team who spent the year working with circus arts teaching artist Kobi Shaw. Mary Begley’s class presented their original version The Gingerbread Man in the North Pole, Jeanne Styczinski’s class used circus spinning plates to show how the earth orbits the sun and Niki King’s class wrote and performed a play about the lifecycle of a plant. Oaklawn third graders teachers Lisa Mayer, Cindy Paulson and Elizabeth Schuster spent the year working with theatre arts teaching artist Melissa Kneeland. For Arts Night, their students wrote and performed their own fractured fairy tales which they researched to create appropriate scenery, costumes and sound effects.
In reflecting on their participation in the C.I.T.A. program, River Heights Kindergarten teacher Tanya Staatz shared, “Integrating the arts brings student engagement to a whole new level. I feel the opportunities are endless.” Wakanda Kindergarten teacher Mary Begley stated, “Being part of AIM has deepened my conviction to using in the arts while teaching. Thank you for a fantastic year.”