Visual and Language Arts (VALA)
VALA (Visual Arts/Language Arts) programs focused on combining creative writing with visual and performing arts.
At Edna Brewer, three different classes of 5th graders were taught Claymation; students completed four short animations, designed six sets, molded seven clay characters, imagined new worlds, wrote scripts and narrated the films.
At Sankofa, teaching artists worked with and mentored high school student interns while instructing 3rd-5th graders at Sankofa Academy. Internships were offered to teenagers interested in and talented with the spoken word, dance, animation, comic illustration, music and video production, and poetry.
In both schools, the VALA teacher tapped into the interests and knowledge of her students while enabling them to depart from conventional stories.