Arts Integration

 

 

Arts integration is an essential component of BBUSA’s programming since it has been shown to improve social, emotional and cognitive development and provides a foundation for our future innovators and entrepreneurs. By using art as a teaching tool, BBUSA gives participating American students the opportunity to exercise their fluency in this universal language as they beautifully blend illustrations with the English word. 

 

Our students find such enjoyment in creating art for their project that they do not always realize how powerful of an educational tool art is. Through BBUSA’s arts integration approach, they learn invaluable lessons in several phases:
 

1. Research phase: Before putting paintbrush to paper, the students use online research platforms to learn about Rwanda. This is supplemented with information about the country’s:

 

  • People

  • History

  • Culture

  • Land

  • Daily struggles

 

2. Planning phase: Equipped with new knowledge about their topic, the students learn how to navigate through the entire creative process from idea conception to execution. They must arrive at answers to project-planning questions, including:

 

  • What message do you want to convey? How will you translate it into art?

  • Who is your audience?

  • What is the best approach to reach your audience?

  • How do you gather information about your topic?

  • How do you determine which method will best reach your audience?

  • How do you determine the timeline necessary for executing your project?

  • How do you determine which art mediums will best accomplish your goal?
     

3. Collaboration phase: In any project-based initiative, collaboration and leadership are musts. Students who participate in BBUSA programming learn the benefits of:

 

  • Consulting with their peers, teacher, and the BBUSA Art Director

  • Reflecting on the progress of their work together

  • Following directions

  • Managing any frustrations or failures that arise

  • Celebrating successes
     

4. Review phase: Through words and art, teachers participating in BBUSA are challenged to develop in their students senses of:

  • passion

  • duty

  • empathy

  • commitment

With their success, students realize that they are global changemakers and want to create tangible impact with their BBUSA project. They come to understand that everything worthwhile requires thought, planning, and time—and that it may require first, second, and even third drafts to reach a perfect result.

 

The participating American students are not the only ones who benefit from BBUSA’s arts integration approach. The Rwandan students, who view the American students’ creations in their new English-language books, receive sources of both visual reference and aesthetic value through art that is relevant to them.

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