The Right Brain Initiative


From Access To Success: English Language Learners

April 29th, 2015 by Right Brain Team

We’ve been featured in two publications! Their common thread is, Right Brain produces significant, culturally relevant academic growth for English Language Learners. This transformation is among the best resulting from our arts integration teaching methods.

As Olga Sanchez explains in El Hispanic News, “Latino students now represent over 22 percent of the total student population statewide.” In the words of our Outreach Specialist Rebecca Burrell, “By bringing teaching artists of color into the classroom — as well as those who speak languages other than English — we can provide cultural perspectives that their teachers, in many cases, cannot.”

As Burrell elaborates on ARTSblog hosted by Americans for the Arts, classroom teachers and Right Brain teaching artists collaborate to ensure that, simultaneously, students gain artistic skills relevant for self-expression, and dramatic new ways to improve in their classes, and on their homework and tests. Students, especially English Language Learners, are grasping concepts better “through movement, music, and visual means, not simply through written or verbal language.”

As a result of the interdisciplinary learning generated by our program, Burrell concludes, “We provide new avenues for students to learn, to demonstrate their knowledge, and to feel successful in the classroom.”

A 5th-grader at W.L. Henry Elementary School in Hillsboro. In February 2015, her class wrote personal essays about whether the Declaration of Independence would apply to them if written today. Then, they worked with Right Brain teaching artist Caitlin Shelman to make self-portraits through the printmaking process, collagraphy. Photo by Frank Hunt.



Right Brain Team