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Visual Arts Center Of NJ Receives IMLS Grant To Partner With Elizabeth Public Schools

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Visual Arts Center Of NJ Receives IMLS Grant To Partner With Elizabeth Public Schools

The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) recently awarded the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey a $45,000 grant to further expand their programs for English Language Learners, conducted in partnership with Elizabeth Public Schools. The grant will allow the Art Center and Elizabeth Public Schools to continue their program to teach language and literacy skills to immigrant students through the use of contemporary art. This program has been created with the assistance of the CALTA21 (Cultures & Literacies through Art for the 21st Century), a national initiative focused on creating a dynamic environment where museums provide authentic, meaningful, and engaging learning experiences to immigrant communities. The new curriculum, which will be taught to 8th and 9th graders, uses art and museums as a catalyst for learning and will align with existing Bilingual Spanish English Language Arts, ESL and Bilingual Spanish Social Studies curricula in the Elizabeth School System.

"For the past two years I have incorporated CALTA21 into my lessons and have not looked back," says Anamaria Llanos, one of the Elizabeth program's lead teachers. "CALT21 cultivates language and free thinking. It nurtures a dynamic environment where students are guided through thought provoking questions to engage prior knowledge and their imagination; develop and strengthen their voice; and promote language thought process. There is nothing more intimidating than talking about art, yet with CALTA21, a relaxed and non-judgmental atmosphere is created by the students themselves. Their eagerness and enthusiasm to participate and facilitate their own CALTA21 session at the museum is a teacher's dream. The program encourages students to think outside of the box, be creative; and become more assertive in the way they look at the world."

About the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
For 85 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, NJ. Adult and children's group tours are available throughout the year. Gallery hours: Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10 AM-5 PM; Thursday, 10 AM-8 PM; and Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM-4 PM. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours. Visit artcenternj.org for more information.



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