Students Learn About the Power of the Arts and Serendipity

Eighteen middle and high school students from Los Angeles and Lawrence, Mass., learned about the power of serendipity at the ED headquarters on May 15. The students — from the School for the Visual Arts and Humanities at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles and the Elevated Thought Foundation — were there to demonstrate their artistic achievements and speak to both the importance of arts education and the power of student voice in education reform. The lesson on serendipity was courtesy of ED’s Teaching Ambassador Fellows program.

Former Teacher Ambassador Fellow Linda Yaron shares the experience she and her students had in preparing for their art exhibit and exposition on what it means to be a learner.

Former Teacher Ambassador Fellow Linda Yaron shares the experience she and her students had in preparing for their art exhibit and exposition on what it means to be a learner.

Linda Yaron, a 2010 Teaching Ambassador Fellow (TAF) at the ED headquarters, worked with seniors from the School for the Visual Arts and Humanities to showcase their art and writing in response to the question: “What does it means to be a learner?” As plans for the exhibit were discussed with the Student Art Exhibit Program team this past winter, current Washington TAF Emily Davis shared her experience with students from Elevated Thought, an extra- and co-curricular program in Lawrence that uses the arts to examine societal issues that the 12- to 18-year-old participants encounter in their community.

The similarities between the two programs were remarkable, leading Linda, Emily, and Student Art Exhibit Program Manager Jackye Zimmermann to turn the plans for the exhibit opening into a collaborative affair. To extend the reach of their thoughts on learning and what it means to be college and career ready, the students would have a discussion with Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Delisle.

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Delisle (fourth from left) meets with students from Los Angeles and Lawrence, Mass., following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the “Learner Project” in the ED headquarters lobby.

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Delisle (fourth from left) meets with students from Los Angeles and Lawrence, Mass., following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the “Learner Project” in the ED headquarters lobby.

To learn and see how this all came together, click here.

Doug Herbert is a special assistant in the Office of Innovation and Improvement and editor of the OII home page.

All photos are by Diana Schneider.