WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Have you ever wondered if your child is a potential Picasso or Oscar-bound actor? Prima ballerina or concert cellist? Award-winning author or roving reporter? On June 17, the Center for Creative Education (CCE) will offer 60 rising third-grade students an opportunity to discover their passion for the arts.
CCE is launching the “Discover Series,” a program that will allow young children to explore music, dance, theater, visual arts and media. The students do not have to have a specific talent or art experience. CCE is looking for kids with curiosity, a strong commitment to study the arts and the discipline to attend the weekly classes on a regular basis, the organization said in a statement.
“The goal of the CCE Discover Series is to expose children to the arts and to give those who show special interest and commitment the instructional background and opportunity to pursue their passion,” said Robert Hamon, CEO for the arts integration and education organization. “It’s our goal that by their third and final year in the Discover Series, students will have increased knowledge and understanding of the arts, preparing them to take their artistic interest further- for the joy of performance, to apply to an audition school or simply for their own enjoyment. In the future they may participate in the arts, or may support them as a consumer or a philanthropist.”
The non-profit CCE served nearly 13,000 Palm Beach County students last year – using the arts to educate and inspire creative thinking in classrooms and after-school programming. Many of the students involved in CCE’s programming are at risk of educational failure. Through their exploration of the arts, students learn commitment, discipline, open-mindedness, team-building and creative thinking – necessary skills for developing the whole child.
In the first year of CCE’s Discover Series, third-grade students will be exposed to piano /keyboard, visual arts, theater/drama, wind instruments/band, dance, voice/choir, media arts and string instruments/orchestra – learning eight different art forms and spending a month exploring each form. In the second year, the students, now fourth graders, will have more control over their art selections – choosing four of those art forms to explore more closely. In the third year, students will select two art areas for a deeper concentration and level of instruction.
Students wishing to apply to the Discover Series must be Palm Beach County third-graders willing to commit to the three-year program. Those enrolled will be a part of the program from third through fifth grade. Tuition for the initial year’s 10-month program is $900 per student per year, but thanks to a $250,000 grant (from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous) almost all of the openings are underwritten with full or partial, need-based, scholarships. Scholarship requests are available on the application. Registration and open houses are free and art supplies are provided.
Weekly classes begin on June 17, 2014 and run through March 12, 2015, with breaks for holidays. Class sizes are limited and openings are available on a first-come, first-served, application basis. Classes will take place at 425 24th St., CCE’s namesake facility in the heart of West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village.
Interested parents and their children should plan to attend one of two open house sessions at CCE on either Tuesday, May 13 from 6 -7:30 p.m., or Saturday, May 24 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. They will be able to meet the arts faculty, see brief demonstrations and take part in hands-on activities in each art area.
Students will commit to one of two class times for the year – Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. or Thursdays from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The CCE Discover Series arts faculty will partner with other local arts organizations to present a performance or activity every month as a way to wrap up each focus area. Participating arts organizations include: Gastesi-Bezerra, the official piano-duo-in-residence at Palm Beach Atlantic University; Youth Speak Out International; Young Singers of the Palm Beaches; Locomotion Theater; Ballet Palm Beach; Music Educators Brass Ensemble and more.
“In the ever changing global economy in which we live, we are no longer focused on the three ‘Rs’ of Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic,” said Olga Vazquez, CCE’s new manager of in-house programs – a position created to oversee the new Discover Series. “Today’s educators are looking at the four ‘Cs’ – Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. The arts naturally help develop the four Cs and the Discover Series is designed to improve these skills in students through direct instruction in the arts. Students will ‘discover’ their potential and passion for the arts – first through exposure to these fine and performing arts areas, and then through interactive workshops and guest performances. The opportunity for children at this age to receive instruction in a wide variety of art forms, and then to speak with professional artists from the community and decide which arts make them happy is completely unique and very exciting. There isn’t anything else like this program in Palm Beach County.”
For information and registration forms for CCE’s Discover Series, visit the Center for Creative Education’s website at cceflorida.org or call at 561-805-9927.