Pablo Picasso said 'every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one once he grows up.' Chances are Picasso didn’t know about FAIR School Crystal,
which incorporates art into just about every facet of a child’s education in order to prepare them to be critical thinkers later in life.
FAIR, which stands for Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource School, was conveyed to Robbinsdale Area Schools in 2015 and serves students from all over the district.
"Arts are a huge part of it," says principal Randy Moberg. "It’s who we are. We want to nurture not just the academics, but the whole child."
The middle school students get above average access to arts as extracurricular activities, but arts are also integrated into academics in the classroom. Each grade is paired with an artist in residency to work on projects that involve composing songs, puppetry, photography or spoken word. Then, teachers apply visual thinking strategies to everyday work in the classroom.
"It’s a series of questions we ask to illicit responses to visual art. It’s about visual literacy and about learning critical thinking skills," says Allison Theilen, arts integration coordinator for the school. "Those 21st century thinking skills are what we want kids to have. We want them to be problem solvers and we need them to be creative. We need them to be critical thinker and that crosses all content areas."
Shannon Slatton, firstname.lastname@example.org
on Twitter: @sslatton