Greenhill in Greensboro, NC, Receives $22,000 from Lincoln Financial Group

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Greenhill in Greensboro, NC, has been awarded $22,000 from Lincoln Financial Group. This grant will support Guilford County Head Start/Title I Tour and Enrichment program in school year 2015-2016.

Guilford County Head Start/Title I Schools Tour and Enrichment program is a program at Greenhill for under-served pre-school age children, offering age-appropriate enriched cultural arts curriculum that supports school readiness. With continued support, Guilford Child Development Head Start, Title I Schools, and United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Thriving at Three, teachers and students will continue to benefit from Greenhill’s Group Visits. All activities are designed to support language development and literacy skills and make explicit connections to the core curriculum as outlined in NC essential standards, Common Core, Head Starts Early Learning Framework, and the National Art Standards. ArtQuest facilitators will lead participants (Pre K – Eighth grade) in a two-part tour featuring a discussion of NC artists and art in The Gallery and hands-on art activities in ArtQuest. The tours expose children to visual art and age appropriate strategies for viewing and talking about art while folding in literacy outcomes formerly introduced in the Read Yellow Blue program. In addition, activities in ArtQuest will strengthen small motor skills, foster social and emotional development and strengthen higher level cognitive skills such as critical thinking.

Through the program, children are invited to experience the exhibition in The Gallery at Greenhill where they gain observation and interpretive skills. The children are asked to decipher and decode symbols, promoting the same skills used in reading and writing, enhancing visual thinking strategies, an essential component in the development of critical thinkers. After participating in activities in The Gallery, the groups move to the ArtQuest studios where the children freely express themselves with art mediums such as clay, paint and collage. Children create individually as well as collaboratively with other children and adults.  A facilitator records the child’s dictation about their artwork so they can take it home to later read to their parents and caregivers. “For many children, this is their very first gallery experience where looking and talking about art act as interpretive practices that strengthen language development while also learning about gallery settings. In the ArtQuest studios children make important connections between what they have seen or read while learning new art vocabulary, creating their own stories and learning about the world around through art techniques and mediums,” explains Lynn Sanders-Bustle, Ph.D., Greenhill’s Director of Programs.

Traci McLemore, Manager, Community Impact Initiatives at United Way of Greater Greensboro explains, “We absolutely love the opportunity for our children to experience language and literacy through this medium.  In the past two years I’ve seen the teacher’s anxiety lessen and comfort levels grow when coming to The Gallery.  Now they know they can bring children into a gallery or museum setting and teach them about the various art forms; Greenhill has shown it is a welcoming place for children, even outside of the ArtQuest studios.”

Since 2011, Greenhill has served 9,248 children through the support of Lincoln Financial Foundation. Greenhill focuses on early childhood because it is the foundation for in-school success. Research shows that sustained participation in the arts is of significant benefit to learners. A seminal longitudinal study examining the importance of sustained arts in the development of children demonstrated that intensive involvement in the arts was associated with higher level of achievement, college attainment, and prosocial behavior (Catteral, 2009). According  to a new NEA report, The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth:  Findings  from  Four Longitudinal Studies,  underserved students “who  have access to the arts  in or out of school also tend  to have better academic  results, better workforce opportunities, and more  civic engagement. Now, Greenhill is able to strengthen the Group Visit program, and as a direct result of Lincoln Financial Foundation support, Greenhill has expanded the impact of educational programming by increasing art enriched opportunities for underserved learners. “Lincoln Financial Foundation’s sustained commitment to this program means that many children are able to return to Greenhill year after year building their knowledge of galleries, art making, and literacy,” says Sanders-Bustle.

Greenhill is located at 200 North Davie Street, in the Greensboro Cultural Center. Greenhill promotes the visual arts of North Carolina by engaging a broad community of artists, adults and children through dynamic exhibitions and educational programs while providing a platform for exploration and investment in art.

For more information visit (www.greenhillnc.org).

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