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Ocean Avenue Students’ Books on Display at Portland Public Library

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Ocean Avenue Students’ Books on Display at Portland Public Library
Posted on 02/11/2016
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Animal books by first-graders at Ocean Avenue Elementary School are on exhibit at the Portland Public Library's children's room this month.

Side x Side and the Portland Public Library have partnered to exhibit the Ocean Avenue students’ handmade animal books. The books were completed during a Side x Side bookmaking program led by teaching artists Jill Osgood and Sarah Boyden Herboldsheimer and the first-grade teaching team at Ocean Avenue.

The books showcase student learning in science, math and literacy, and are the result of many hours of research, writing, painting and drawing.

The exhibit opens today, Thursday, Feb. 11, in the children's room of the library and will remain on view until the end of the month. The public is invited to stop by and take a look – and learn about a favorite animal!

After the exhibit closes, the Ocean Avenue students will share their books with kindergarten students and Reading Buddies, as well as with parents during March parent-teacher conferences.

The Ocean Avenue first-graders’ nonfiction writing unit was done in conjunction with a Side-By-Side arts grant, which brings real authors/artists into the classrooms.

A four-year, federal arts education grant of more than $1.9 million was awarded to Side x Side, a Portland nonprofit whose mission is to integrate the arts into the curriculum of Maine public schools, and the University of Southern Maine in the fall of 2014.

During the last school year, Side x Side 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: East End, Riverton and Ocean Avenue.

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 USM, 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.

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.