Vero Beach Elementary receives creativity grant

VERO BEACH — A local elementary school recently received a grant in an effort to fund innovative programs focused on fostering children’s creative thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication skills, school officials said.

Vero Beach Elementary School is one of 20 elementary and middle schools from across the nation selected by Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals to receive a Champion Creatively Alive Children school grant.

The grants are intended to help schools build creative capacity, nurture children’s creativity and inspire other schools to do the same, officials said. Vero Beach Elementary, located at 1770 12th Street, received the $2,500 monetary grant and $1,000 worth of Crayola products.

“Crayola believes that for students to reach their full potential and grow into self-motivated learners, their creativity and critical thinking skills must be nurtured,” said Smith Holland, Crayola president and chief executive officer. “We believe children develop these 21st century skills when educators ignite their imaginations through art infused education.”

The grant asks principals to explore a “what if” learning opportunity. For example, what if arts-infused learning thrived everyday in schools, officials said.

Cindy Emerson, principal at the elementary school, will share outcomes from the program through the NAESP site and through a special principal magazine supplement to help other principals develop promising practices related to arts education, officials said.

The school has established project-based learning academies where students use SLIDE (Science, Literacy, Inquiry, Design and Engineering) to solve problems and understand others. For this year, students will analyze school data to help redesign the school’s learning space and will help launch a public relations campaign for the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

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