The arts enhance every aspect of education from reading to critical thinking, social skills and motivation. Yet, after decades of extreme budget cuts, creative opportunities have all but disappeared from Portland area schools. Poof. And with them, the bright possibilities percolating in the brain cells of our children.
Launched in 2008, The Right Brain Initiative promotes whole brain learning. Our vision is to give every K-8 student in the region access to the arts regardless of neighborhood, language, or income. Through an effort that engages the entire community, we’re creating long-term, lasting change within our school systems.
Our program doesn’t replace existing arts education. Instead, the arts are woven into core curriculum, giving teachers new tools to engage students in a creative process that connects back to other subjects. To date, nearly 20,000 students and 59 Portland metro schools in seven school districts are expressing, exploring, imagining, creating and using the full measure of their minds.
The goals of our innovative approach are:
- Equity and excellence: All students will have access to quality experiences in multiple art forms.
- Collaboration and capacity building: Teachers, artists, arts specialists and other members of the school community will work together as partners to integrate the arts and other core curriculum areas.
- Sustained opportunities to learn arts processes: Students create and perform/exhibit works of art and reflect upon works of art created by themselves and others
- Expanded written and oral expression: Arts education offered through Right Brain will support the development of students’ expanded reading, writing and oral expression skills across the curriculum as well as 21st century skills of creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.