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Riverton Students To Unveil Portland History Mural Nov. 20

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Riverton Students To Unveil a Mural of Portland History on Nov. 20
Posted on 11/18/2015
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Riverton Elementary School third-graders have been using art to help them learn about the history of Portland. Their lessons will culminate in an event on Friday, Nov. 20, in which students will put on a performance about key events in the city’s history and unveil a Portland history mural that they have created.

The event will take place at 1:45 p.m. in the cafeteria of the school, which is located at 1600 Forest Avenue.

Riverton’s Portland Project has been made possible through a four-year, federal arts education grant of more than $1.9 million that Side x Side and the University of Southern Maine were awarded in the fall of 2014.

During the last school year, Side x Side, a Portland nonprofit whose mission is to integrate the arts into the curriculum of Maine public schools, successfully piloted five arts-integrated programs at Reiche Community School. This school year, those interdisciplinary programs have expanded to three more Portland Public Schools elementary schools: Ocean Avenue, East End and Riverton.

In the Riverton project, the third-graders participated in a field trip with Maine Historical Society to see the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, the East End park and the Maine Historical Society Museum, said teacher Caitlin Malloy. “They took notes and made drawings in a project journal and those notes and drawings were turned into a three panel mural and a Portland history performance,” she said.

The $1.9 million U.S Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grant went to Youth in Action: Side x Side, in conjunction with the University of Southern Maine, for Project IMAGINE.

The grant allows Side x Side and USM to pilot and evaluate Project IMAGINE in grades K-5 at Reiche, Ocean Avenue, East End and Riverton elementary schools as a framework for broader arts integration, increasing proficiency in mathematics and reading and strengthening learning for all students, while providing teacher training in arts integration practice. Project IMAGINE is expected to eventually impact 1,700 students and 80 teachers each year.

The goal of Project Imagine is to design, develop, and test a set of comprehensive arts integration programs for elementary schools in order to create a system of professional development supports and resources for teachers.

Riverton history performance