Project Elevate by Any Given Child Sarasota

By Maria Schaedler-Luera, Program Manager for Arts Integration

Project Elevate, a program created by Any Given Child Sarasota, just ended a week of culminating events to celebrate a one of a kind arts integration initiative. Project Elevate is made possible by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation. Since early October, second and third graders from four Title I elementary schools, Atwater, Brentwood, Emma E. Booker and Tuttle, joined their teachers and Jessica DiLorenzo, Any Given Child’s Arts Integration Specialist, to explore movement, drama, folktales, and Florida habitats.

As they explored folktales, third graders discovered the many lessons and themes authors portray through imaginary circumstances. They uncovered the power of drama and storytelling as ways to bring attention to real world problems. Using the elements of dance: space, body, energy, and time, second graders created a living, breathing, dancing non-fiction texts to teach other people about different organisms living within local environments. They have worked collaboratively to explore concepts such as adaptation, climate, and habitats.

For the next three years, special emphasis is being placed on increasing students’ skills in reading, writing, math and science through arts-integrated instruction. Project Elevate, which will expand to fourth and fifth grades in the next two years, does not only offers opportunities to students at our Title I elementary schools. It also provides an opportunity for teachers from throughout the district to benefit from advanced professional development workshops with leading local and national teaching artists and other arts-integration experts.

This PDAE grant (Professional Development for Arts Educators) has been a game changer for the work Any Given Child has been doing at the Sarasota County Schools. Participating teachers engage in a number of interactive strategies led by Jessica DiLorenzo designed to familiarize them with arts-integrated instruction and how it impacts student learning outcomes. By doing that we get closer to our goal of developing and building high-quality arts education programs and instruction in our local schools.

To know more about Project Elevate and Any Given Child Sarasota, Like us on Facebook:; Follow us on Twitter: @AGCSRQ; or contact us directly at: or (941) 927-9000 Ext 31184.


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