Developing innovative and creative ways to successfully improve children’s reading and writing skills is a challenge for teachers. A local group of educators is hoping they have a solution, with the launch of a new program that uses the arts to hone essential life skills at the primary level.
Tutoring company Triple T Learning, in partnership with Cayman Music Therapy, recently presented a pilot program at George Town Primary School that explored literacy through the arts, using drama, art and music to practice fundamental skills and bring literature to life.
“It’s designed to motivate and inspire children of all ages to read and get excited about books,” said Julianne Parolisi, Founder of Cayman Music Therapy, who facilitated the two hour workshop along with Katie Dilbert, co-owner of Triple T Learning, and Kate O’Brien, also of Cayman Music Therapy.
Thirteen students in the Year 3 and 4 classes took part in the Saturday morning program, which was hosted by George Town Primary Principal Marie Martin at the school’s library. Rotary Central provided snacks for the students and their families.
“The students were eager to explore, engage and act ‘in-role’ as they created their own characters from the children’s series The Code Busters Club by Penny Warner. They then went on to solve ‘The Mystery of the Missing Stingrays,’ an imaginary adventure involving a bumpy boat ride, finding clues, and using their storytelling and literacy skills to help solve the mysterious incident and save Stingray City,” said a press release.
Ms. Parolisi noted that arts-based literacy offers new ways for children of all ages and abilities to relate to stories.
“Sessions combine the fundamentals of literacy with the creativity of music, drama, art and movement to build skills and create positive, interactive and successful experiences.”
She said research shows that using the creative arts as a teaching tool touches on the different ways kids learn, including through seeing, hearing and physical activity.
“The creative arts can be particularly helpful in fostering literacy skills because they combine visual, auditory and kinesthetic ways of learning,” she said. “Using the arts also helps excite and engage children in reading and writing, thus setting them up for long-term success.”
The workshop was such a success that plans are under way for a variety of arts-based literacy programs in the new year.
For more information visit www.tripletlearning.com or www.facebook.com/CaymanMusicTherapy.