EASTON, Pa., Jan. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crayola, the worldwide leader in children’s creative expression products, is driving a cultural shift to creativity in schools through the expansion of the creatED professional development program. Built upon insights gained after a successful pilot across 13 states, creatED is designed to help K-8 schools draw on the power of creativity to drive 21st century learning and connect schools, classrooms and families to prepare students for jobs of the future.  

“Education is facing a ‘perfect storm’ of external factors—including machine learning and shifting job-skill priorities—that call into question our ability to educate the workforce of tomorrow,” said Cheri Sterman, director of education at Crayola. “To prepare students for a successful future, schools need to encourage the type of creative activities that lead to higher level, more abstract learning. creatED provides a holistic solution, with tools that empower educators and families to infuse art into everyday lessons and enable students to build their creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and literacy.”

The creatED program was developed to support the entire learning ecosystem through arts-infused professional development, classroom instruction and family engagement to provide wraparound supports for students to fully integrate creativity into their thinking. At its foundation, creatED is a professional development program for educators designed to explore creative leadership, literacy, STEAM and family engagement topics. Using interactive, challenging, hands-on learning, teacher leaders learn the why and how of integrating creativity in their classrooms to support the engagement, motivation and academic achievement of their students. Building on the success of the initial 13 pilots, creatED has expanded with the launch of the Crayola Creative Learning Platform, which offers creative inspiration, innovative teaching strategies and practical resources for educators to use in their schools and classrooms. Teachers can collaborate and share resources with colleagues nationwide as well as access online courses, webinars, coaching tools and standards-based, classroom-ready, cross curricular lesson plans.

Additionally, creatED is introducing Design-A-Game kits for classroom use to help students use design thinking strategies to create cross-curricular games. Game design can cover topics from survival to environment to biomimicry. The program expansion also includes family engagement kits that combine curriculum connected projects with step-by-step parent guides and colorful, imaginative products so families can make learning activities a great way to spend time together. Family engagement kits are available for grades PreK-2, 3-5, and 6-8 in three topics: Moved By Math, Writing Art-Inspired Stories and STEAM for 21st Century Learning.

Extensive research has demonstrated the power of integrating creativity, inquiry, design thinking, and collaboration into the learning environment, across curricula and grade spans. Test scores, language skills, literacy, social emotional development and vital 21st century skills have been shown to improve through arts-based instruction. Informed by this research, the creatED program offers creative resources for educators, students and families that bring together essential cross-disciplinary topics with practical, proven instructional strategies. The pilot districts have already seen the benefits of the creatED program:

  • Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS): PGCPS, in the Washington Metropolitan Area, tapped Crayola’s professional development solutions to implement Creative Leadership Teams in order to identify and train teachers who were committed to using creativity and coaching to transform the entire school and advance student engagement to influence deeper learning experiences. “We don’t know what jobs will be available when our students graduate, but we need to be proactive about the skills they might need,” said John Ceschini, arts integration officer at PGCPS. “Achievement through creative expression empowers students to keep taking those risks, which leads to self-confidence and grit to move forward.”
  • Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS): The end goal for Georgia’s CCPS was to have arts integrated into core curriculum by engaging teachers and instilling confidence throughout the district that integrating the arts into core curriculum was a sustainable plan, with long-term impact on their students. “My background is in mathematics. When I started teaching, I worked at a school of the arts, integrating the arts into my mathematics classroom. In my first year, I didn’t take the concept to heart, but after I really started integrating the arts into my academic classroom, I saw a difference in student engagement and achievement. So, I always take that experience wherever I go,”  Dr. Monika Wiley, director of fine arts for CCPS said. “Trying to integrate art into the math curriculum after majoring in mathematics in college, it took my mind time to shift from analytical to creatively analytical.”
  • Livingston Public Schools: This New Jersey district has a mission to empower all to learn, create, contribute and grow. It is with this priority that they are implementing arts integration as an approach to inspire teacher instruction and empower and develop students through leadership, engagement and achievement. Through Crayola’s creatED professional development, four participating elementary schools are forming creative leadership teams, coaching colleagues and building the creative capacity of faculty, students and families.

Schools may be able to utilize creatED as a way to meet new ESSA student success metrics and may also be eligible for ESSA state-level funding to purchase the program.

To learn more about creatED by Crayola, visit www.crayola.com/education.

About creatED by Crayola
creatED by Crayola provides professional learning and resources to K-8 educators on leadership, multi-literacies and STEAM to prepare students with academic and life skills that hinge on creativity. By inspiring creative instruction through teacher leaders and project-based learning, creatED bolsters district-wide student engagement and improves learning outcomes. For more information, visit www.crayola.com/education and follow creatED by Crayola on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Crayola
Crayola LLC, based in Easton, Pa. and a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Incorporated, is the worldwide leader in children's creative expression products. Known for the iconic Crayola Crayon first introduced in 1903, the Crayola brand has grown into a portfolio of innovative art tools, crafting activities and creativity toys that offer children innovative new ways to use color to create everything imaginable. Consumers can find the wide array of Crayola products in the "Crayola Aisle" at all major retailers. For more information visit www.crayola.com or join the community at www.facebook.com/crayola.

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