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"ECM - should also stand for encouraging creative minds! As an artist for Engaging Creative Minds, I find that working with their coaches and the teachers, that I am able to help share and encourage learning using creativity in all forms of digital and print. The outcomes vary from short movies, to dvd's with color prints, to printed newspapers and then portraits with a student modeling their dreams for the future and what it takes to get there! Throughout the entire learning process, the students are encouraged to use their imagination and to create images in their minds and then to write! In other projects, we help the students to become good observers and reporters, they then write and see their works published. Yes, the outcome shows academic success, but often I see other important elements such as the students finding their self within their work, they gain self esteem and confidence. Just think using the creative process. So when one thinks of the positive outcomes of a creative experience with ECM, I also suggest that we should look at the benefit to the whole student!"
"I enrolled my grandson in one week of STEAM camp this summer. He was very hesitant to go - we actually had to make him go the first day. By Wednesday he was asking if he could do another week. He is on week 3 now and says he wishes "he could go to school at STEAM all year long!" He loves it so much, he talked his step-sister into going. This is an awesome program. Every child should have this opportunity."
"I have attended 3 workshops/professional development opportunities sponsored by ECM over the last year and half. All three of the workshops I found to be of great benefit to my teaching and have given me lots of ideas that I now use in my classroom with my students. I am looking forward to working with ECM in March when they will provide an artist in residence to help my students learn volume and surface area with sculptures."
"Engaging Creative Minds has become an integrated part of the experiences for the learners of C.E. Williams Middle School for Creative Arts. Our learners engage the curriculum through the arts with artists which is exciting and solidifies learning. In addition, our teachers are able to see and learn new and creative ways to present content. We are glad to be an ECM school."
"I've been working with Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) for the past couple of years - as an artist and as a summer program and special events partner. I can say with confidence that without ECM the students they work with in the Lowcountry would not have the enrichment and exposure to the arts that they now have. It would be very difficult to get my program into the schools during the school day without our partnership with ECM. Great group of folks doing great work for the students in the Lowcountry."
"Exposure to the breadth of creative inspiration which ECM has provided to me as a teacher, has been immensely helpful with The HERO Project. As a visual artist they helped me fine tune my goal and engage students in thought and consideration of the character and life choices of "heroes". I needed to better understand how to present this material to young minds as well as how it related to core curriculum. The professionals at ECM have taught and encouraged me as they opened school doors to experience sculpture. These experiences have ignited creative sparks in Tri-county students everywhere, be it 3D design and construction, history or focused language arts. The programs from ECM are piquing curiosity and delighting students. I am forever thankful for the honor of working with ECM."
"I work for the school district where Engaging Creative Minds began, and I can wholeheartedly say that it is one of the best arts-infused programs I have ever seen in education. The model provides gainful and meaningful employment for local artists while bringing curriculum to life for our students. The program administrators run an organized ship and every dollar is used wisely."
"I have to say a HUGE thank you to Engaging Creative Minds for partnering with Chas Stage Company to do an incredible residency at my children's school, Ashley River Creative Arts Elem. I have triplets in 3rd grade and each one of them is STILL talking about the amazing and FUN experience they had three weeks ago! They learned SO much about the Civil War and all three girls got 100's on their tests after their time with ECM. But more important than the grade, the girls understood the material because it was presented in such a unique way. They went into the test with confidence using all they learned. I have heard other parents say the same! We are so grateful! I wish ECM and Chas Stage were there for EVERY social studies unit! (; Thank you to some very special people for making this program a grand success!"
"I have worked as a Teaching Artist on the SC Arts Commission Roster for decades. Over the last year, I've had an opportunity to get to know the work done at ECM. They do Arts Integration right! Every person in this organization goes above and beyond with a clear interest in enriching the lives and education of our children. Great people! Excellent program!"
"Engaging Creative Minds totally looks at combining the whole experience of the arts and academics, and uses it to create a well rounded lifelong learner. The program does an excellent job of providing opportunities to both learners and educators. This is the way all educational experiences should be."
"The folks at Engaging Creative Minds worked small miracles to make Porgy and Bess happen for my students! To say that they enjoyed the show would be an understatement. My students were enthralled, and it was amazing to hear them talk about the performance in significant detail both among themselves and to adults. This experience has definitely piqued an interest in the arts for my students. The opportunity to expose my kids to new places and ideas is just priceless, and to have Porgy and Bess in my back pocket as a teaching tool will impact students for years to come. I simply do not have the words to express my gratitude to the good people at Engaging Creative Minds and Ravinia, as well as their cadre of volunteers and donors. Seeing this opera at Spoleto was an experience that neither my students nor I will soon forget."
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