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VACNJ Visual Arts Center Expanding Services For English Language Learners


VACNJ Visual Arts Center Expanding Services For English Language Learners

Art has long been touted as a useful tool in developing literacy skills, especially for those learning a new language. Children and adults alike can benefit from the opportunity art provides to collectively explore complex ideas, and to engage in abstract thinking. A grant recently awarded the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) will enable the Center to expand its capacity to offer such opportunities and serve English Language Learners (ELL) in both the local community and throughout the state. Presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as part of the "Museums for America" program, the funds awarded will be used by the Art Center, in partnership with the Elizabeth Public School System, to engage in a training program that will equip VACNJ staff and Elizabeth Educators with the tools they need to best use their respective expertise to help English language learners through art.

"We are excited to have received this grant with the Elizabeth Public Schools, with which we have a successful and rewarding relationship. Each year, more than 500 students from Elizabeth, New Jersey visit the Art Center for an in-depth tour of exhibitions and to work with teaching artists in the studio. This award will give us the opportunity to better serve them, and, in the long term, enable us to deepen our service to English language learners with school districts throughout New Jersey." said Melanie Cohn, Executive Director of the Visual Arts Center."

VACNJ staff and school educators will receive training from CALTA21 (Cultures and Literacies Through Art for the 21st Century) during the 2017-2018 school year, with the goal of a pilot program set for summer 2018.

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
For more than 80 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center's renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, New Jersey. Adult and children's group tours are available throughout the year. Gallery Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Friday: 10AM to 5PM; Thursday 10AM to 8PM; and Saturday & Sunday 11 AM to 4 PM. Please call 908-273-9121 to confirm holiday hours. Visit for more information.

Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided in part by the Walter V. & Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation, the Wilf Family Foundations, and Art Center members and donors.

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