The Arts at Bridges
Self-Portrait Sketches, Kindergarten & 1st Grade
Early Childhood Arts Education
We believe that the arts are an essential part of learning and we use visual art, music, drama, and movement throughout the Early Childhood curriculum. We work in partnership with organization such as Sitar Arts Center, Washington Performing Arts, Imagination Stage, and DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative to bring in visiting artists and provide meaningful field trips to all our PreK 3 / PreK 4 students. Additionally, all of our Pre-K and Kindergarten students attend both music and visual art classes each week.
Elementary Arts Education
At Bridges we see the importance of the arts as disciplines in their own right, as well as useful learning tools for deepening understanding in other subject areas. With this in mind, we expose students to learning opportunities within specific arts practices and also incorporate arts integration frameworks across subject areas, and especially emphasize this during our Science & Social Studies Project Work block.
Visual Arts Education
Students in grades K-5 participate in visual arts education where they study the basic elements of art: line, shape, form, color, space, value, and texture. The class focuses on the materials, techniques, and processes of visual arts, as well as theories and history within the visuals arts. Many of the art projects produced throughout the year are integrated with the Science and Social Studies curricula.
All students, PreK - 5th grade, receive music education. Students learn basic music concepts, explore and learn about various instruments, and compose music. Like visual arts, teachers work together to integrate music into the core curriculum whenever possible.
Arts Partnership Programs
Bridges works in partnership with organizations such as Sitar Arts Center, 826DC, Imagination Stage, and The Washington Performing Arts to bring meaningful enrichment programs to our students through in-school teaching artists residencies. In 2016, we were able to offer 2nd graders, both in inclusion and special education classes, a 6 week movement program, and 3rd graders participated in a week-long drumming workshop. Since 2017, we’ve partnered with Imagination Stage to bring an integrated drama and social studies program to students in PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade. In 2018 - 2019, staff and volunteers from 826DC worked publishing projects with students in our 4th and 5th grade classes. Our 3rd graders were selected to be part of a year long book writing and publishing project called the Young Author Book Project. There work will be published and available to purchase later this year.
At Bridges, we work to integrate learning across content areas in order to promote collaboration, critical thinking, and innovation. Through arts integration, students learn subject area skills and content while simultaneously learning about the arts. The juxtaposition of these subjects creates deep, meaningful learning experiences for the students. Arts integrated lessons are designed with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guidelines in mind and aim at reaching all different types of learners.
National Core Arts Standards / Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts Standards
DC Arts Standards / Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts Standards
Imagination Stage / Children's Theater
The National Theater / Free performances for children on Saturday mornings!
Project Zero / Arts Integration and other research on learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Tate Kids / Cool ideas and inspiration from Tate Modern Museum in London
Smithsonian Kids / Information on all the best Smithsonian exhibits for children