The goal of the project was to help students know authors, see themselves as authors and become authors. Each grade level worked on poetry and writing with a single author or artist for five or more days during the school year. Through classroom visits, artists taught students about the writing process and gave them a look into a writer’s mind. All students in grades Pre-K through five produced written work.At Arts Extravaganza Day, students will present readings, performances and illustrations. Authors scheduled to read from their work include John Coy, Susan Marie Swanson, Joyce Sidman and Marie Olofsdotter, who will appear with a four foot tall puppet of her character Sofia.
Artists who worked with students throughout the year included:
Robin McGalliard Nelson (Pre-K), folk musician, dance caller, storyteller and nursery rhyme expert
Marie Olofsdotter (K), author and illustrator of several picture books, including Sofia and the Heartmender
Susan Marie Swanson (Grade 1), poet and picture book author; 2009 winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Minnesota
Book Award for The House in the Night
Joyce Sidman (Grade 2), poet; 2010 winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors
John Minczeski (Grade 3), poet
T Mychael Rambo (Grade 4), vocalist, actor and writer
John Coy (Grade 5), author of picture books Night Driving, Strong to the Hoop, Vroomaloom Zoom, Two Old Potatoes and
Me and Around the World; young adult novels Crackback and Box Out and middle-grade books Top of the Order and Eyes on the Goal
Arts for Academic Achievement is a program of the Minneapolis Public Schools designed to improve student achievement and teacher practice in and through the arts. For 13 years, AAA has helped arrange artist collaborations and provided teacher coaching and funding for school programs that incorporate the arts. AAA is funded in part by grants from Achieve Minneapolis, the Ford Foundation and the Wallace Foundation and by the Curriculum and Instruction Department of the Minneapolis Public Schools.