(NEWARK, NJ) -- Signaling state support of the arts’ valuable role in economic activity, Arts Ed Newark is to receive $80,000 over two school years from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, towards expansion of their Trauma-Informed Curriculum/trainings, paired with Save The Music (STM)’s capital investment of instruments, technology & resources to support music programs in Newark, among other NJ districts inequitably affected by COVID-19. Arts Ed Newark provided over 20 hours of professional development to nearly 70 Newark Board of Education educators over the 2020-21 school year, quickly responding to real-time trauma/needs and establishing a virtual presence/platform.
Since 2018, Arts Ed Newark has partnered with educators, artists, community health providers, and philanthropy to develop and implement arts based, healing-centered training to provide the adults in schools with the tools to address trauma and build resiliency in their students.The training shares the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on youth, arms educators with language, strategies and resources, and asks educators to view students and the arts through an asset based lens to maximize healing.
“We could not have predicted that our work would be so necessary/timely, but found ourselves responding to/addressing prescient needs, and it really resonated with our participants. There is a real need for this work right now,” commented Arts Ed Newark Director Lauren Meehan. “Having gone through the workshop provided by AEN right before COVID shut down myself, I know the huge value of the tools and resources that the workshops provide to educators and beyond, especially during this difficult time,” said Senior Director of Programs and Policy of STM Chiho Feindler. “We are thrilled that we can continue this work in Newark and possibly beyond as we need to support our teachers more than ever.”
STM has seen first-hand how music instruction can fuel meaningful student engagement and increase participation in remote, hybrid and blended learning environments. The two organizations have synced up their efforts in increased healing-centered practices for educators navigating both re-emergence and loss of learning, post-COVID. Miyuki Takahashi-Rivera, Music Teacher at JFK School (2020 STM Grantee) shared after participating in an NBOE TIC session led by AEN, “I've learned the importance of the healing process as a community. I will definitely use my music classes as a place where students can start the process.”
Save The Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music. Founded in 1997, Save The Music partners with school districts and raises funds to restore music programs in public schools. Since its inception, the organization has donated over $60 million worth of new musical instruments, equipment, and technology to 2,201 schools in 277 school districts around the country–impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of students.
Through programs, advocacy, promotion, education, and coordination, Newark Arts powers the arts to transform the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit Newark. Arts Ed Newark (AEN), which operates under the fiscal umbrella of Newark Arts, is a strategic alliance of over 100 arts education stakeholders who collaborate to ensure all children in grades PreK-12 in the city of Newark have equitable access to high quality, sequential arts education opportunities, both in and out of school. For more info on AEN’s Trauma-Informed Care/Healing Centered work, click here.