The Ask for More Arts (AFMA) collaborative is a school-community-arts partnership designed to provide students in the Jackson Public School District the opportunity of learning through the arts. Teachers at partnering schools receive high-quality training in how to use the arts to teach core subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies and how to connect learning for children across the curriculum. Integrating arts into classroom teaching creates hands-on, highly engaged work for children that makes learning relevant and motivates students to take ownership for their success.
Collaboration with aspiring student artists from Jackson State University (JSU) and local artists advances what is learned in the classroom with additional exposure to the arts in the community. The Ask for More Arts Collaborative was launched in 2005 with funding from a Ford Foundation grant as a school-community-arts partnership designed to provide students in the Lanier Feeder Pattern (Area 3) the opportunity of learning through the arts by integrating arts education into regular instruction in the elementary and middle school classrooms. Through AFMA, reading across the curriculum is embedded in all subject areas. Students explore language arts and math through music and songwriting, imagery and rhyme. They explore social studies and science through plays, dance, paper making, music, photographs and storytelling from different cultures.
The Ask for More Arts Initiative focuses on the schools being SmART Schools. The goal of “We Are SmART Schools” is to support innovative arts-integrated projects to enhance teaching and learning in the classrooms. SmART schools provide teachers and students with relevant art access and integration strategies to support learning. The culminating project for all schools to focus on the theme: Our Community – A Sense of Place.
The goals of We are SmART Schools are to:
- Provide teachers with innovative teaching strategies that integrate academic and arts curriculum benchmarks into lessons.
- Enhance teachers' content knowledge of and experiences in the arts.
- Equip teaching artists with skills to integrate arts education into instruction in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies by collaboratively working with classroom teachers.
- Increase student achievement in language arts through arts-based learning.
For additional information about the Ask for More Arts Program and what schools are served, please view the Ask for More Arts Annual Report (PDF).