Gaithersburg Elementary School located in Montgomery County, Maryland, serves 900 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students. 78% of students live in poverty, more than 59% receive English as a second language support and most are performing below level in their core subjects. Parents and their children often feel like outsiders in their own community due to language, cultural, and economic barriers. Arts training helps their voices be heard and stories be honored while learning.
Imagine living in a bubble where you can see the world around you, but can't access it yourself. Many families in the Gaithersburg community suffer this feeling of isolation and don't know how to break the bubble. Children are caught between a desire to create new friendships and a sense of loyalty to family - and it can seem impossible to have both. An in-depth artist-in-residency will give 5 classrooms the tools they need to dissolve these barriers, training teachers to use these tools daily.
Story Tapestries has been working with the Gaithersburg Elementary School community for two years now, developing bi-lingual programs based in the arts. Through Dialogue Circle training led by the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County and Family Night events, the community has begun to transform. The school has received an award to support an in-depth artist-in-residency program to leave a lasting imprint on teachers and students, but the funds are insufficient to cover all the costs.
A kick-off performance that exposes at least 350 students to the magic of performing arts and an in-depth residency experience for 125 students will leave an impression that will remain with these children for life. While a performance can inspire, a residency can give the tools to make real learning progress. Your donation will help transform a community, giving children and their teachers the tools and support so that every child has the possibility to be successful in school and in life!