Picasso Project

Picasso Project provides grants for innovative arts projects in Philadelphia public schools, & advocates for equitable access to arts education for all students. An initiative of PCCY (Public Citizens for Children + Youth).

When children have access to arts in school, they become creative thinkers and better students. Since its inception in 2002, the Picasso Project, an inititative of PCCY (Public Citizens for Children + Youth), has provided over 41,000 children access to innovative arts projects by providing mini-grants to their schools. The Picasso Project awards grants of up to $5,000 to schools annually to support projects in creative, performing and digital arts. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of arts instruction at under-resourced schools, improve school climate by giving kids an outlet to work together on projects, and spark student interest by integrating arts with core academic subjects. At the same time, students and teachers at Picasso Project schools use their projects to advocate for funding for school arts programs at both the local and state level so future generations of students can express themselves through art at school. For more information about the Picasso Project, please visit our website: www.pccy.org/picasso-project Check us out on Twitter: @PCCYArts, and Instagram: @PCCY_Arts

School District of Philadelphia

In light of recent events, the School District of Philadelphia will be granting a district-wide day off to staff on Tuesday, June 2. All offices will be closed and employees do not need to work from home. One day will not address the large issues we all have in front of us -- but it is our hope that this day of self care and reflection will give our staff members renewed strength to continue to move our work forward for students.

[06/01/20]   Shout out to all the #phled teachers showing up to support their students this morning. Here are some resources for educators looking to develop their ant-racist teaching practices (in comments). Please add any that you find helpful!

Wow! Over 200 participants at Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) #TeenTownHall right now, including many Philly teens & elected officials. Click to join the call:
https://www.pccy.org/take-action/pccy-events/pccy-events/

Congrats Strawberry Mansion HS!!! #phled #artsed

THEY WON!!!! CONGRATULATIONS to Strawberry Mansion High School who was selected as the Grand Prize Winner by Vans for their physical shoe design! The schools art program will receive $50,000!!! GO KNIGHTS!
Learn More: https://bit.ly/36L4PVV

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

thenotebook.org

Hite says that school reopening in the fall may vary across the city | The notebook

thenotebook.org The Notebook | Philadelphia Public Schools - Philly education news and views, independent and reader supported.

youtube.com

My Movie 1

This is so moving! Nebinger Elem 4th grader Koll & his mom Amy testified to PHLCouncil last night, asking council members to #FundArtsEd & #FundOurSchools.

"Art helps me to see the world in a different way. This is helps me in the classroom because there are many ways to think about a problem." -Koll, 4th grade

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XVvS3CD6IY&feature=youtu.be #phled
Nebinger PTA Friends of Nebinger Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) Councilmember Mark Squilla Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson Councilmember Helen Gym Councilmember Isaiah Thomas Councilmember Derek Green Councilmember Kendra Brooks Councilmember At-Large Allan Domb Darrell L. Clarke Philadelphia Public School Notebook South Philly Review Philly School News

This video is about My Movie 1

Philadelphia Public School Notebook

This is big news! But we still need to send a message loud and clear to PHLCouncil: Pass a funding bill (including Mayor Kenney's proposed revenue stream) that will #FundOurSchools and #FundArtsEd.
Here's how you can get involved: https://www.pccy.org/initiatives/picasso-project/

In a budget bill that squeaked through the State House on Tuesday, lawmakers decided to hold all major education spending even for the next twelve months. If that bill is ultimately signed, money for Pre-K, K-12, and state universities will be identical to what it was this year.

That’s notable because most of the state budget will be revisited five months from now — after the election and after state officials have a better sense of the fiscal damage wrought by the coronavirus.

But school boards, child care operators, and university presidents won’t have to worry about substantial state cuts until at least 2021.

🚨ADVOCACY ALERT: ACT NOW to protect arts education in Philly public schools! 📣 Please take 3 minutes to send a letter to your reps to #FundArtsEd & #FundOurSchools: https://secure.everyaction.com/wESJ1AlsjkWQe40Tld0vAw2

And check out our Arts Advocacy Guide & sign template: http://pccy.org/initiatives/picasso-project/ #phled

Yo-Yo Ma

It’s been a joy to be making things with the amazing Mo Willems recently. Here’s a lullaby — “Nana” by Manuel de Falla — and a doodle to warm us up for the The Yo-Yo Mo Show with Mo Willems & Yo-Yo Ma. It will be available starting Sunday, May 31 at 5pm ET on The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts website. https://www.kennedy-center.org/mowillems
#songsofcomfort

Overbrook Ed Center principal Meredith Foote to Philadelphia City Council tonight:
“When we think and plan for our most vulnerable students first, we plan and prepare what’s best for all children. I urge you, please maintain our budget for the arts, not just for OEC students, but for all children. It’s what’s fair, it’s what equitable, it’s what’s right.”
#FundArtsEd #FundOurSchools!

Masterman 8th grader Noah Eggerts to Philadelphia City Council: “The creative arts aren’t just lessons and talents, they’re tools. The ways that we see paintings and sculptures, the ways that we make music - these are things that have the power to shape the lives of young students.” #FundArtsEd #FundOurSchools

Lankenau HS 11th grader Aniyah Comer to Philadelphia City Council: “Art helps us be our best selves at school, so we can stay focused on learning. So please, when discussing budget cuts, please protect our schools’ arts programs.” #FundArtsEd #FundOurSchools

Grateful for so many Philadelphians who testified to Philadelphia City Council today to #FundArtsEd, #FundOurSchools, and #SaveTheArts! Here are statements from Nebinger 4th grader Koll and his mom! 👏 📣

Be sure to watch at 3pm today! Several terrific students, teachers, and school leaders testifying on behalf of #ArtsEd funding to Philadelphia City Council Budget Hearings live stream: http://phlcouncil.com/watch #PHLed

#ReadToMe & YOGA! Today's read aloud features a short guided yoga for little ones, featuring the book "Good Night Yoga" by Mariam Gates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFUMQ4-wAIw
#PHLed #ReadAloud #StoryTime #KidsYoga

Simply put, from a young arts advocate (Tim's daughter) :)
#LOVE #FundArtsEd #FundOurSchools

LOVING these arts ed advocacy messages.📣Keep them coming, Philly! #FundArtsEd & #FundOurSchools.

https://www.pccy.org/initiatives/picasso-project #PHLed #ArtsAdvocacy #ArtsEd Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

WITH ARTS, STUDENTS LEARN! 📣Arts education funding is at risk for Philly students. Check out our Arts Education Advocacy Guide to learn easy ways that you can help #FundArtsEd and #FundOurSchools.

https://www.pccy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PP-Arts-Advocacy-Guide-2020-invididual-pages.pdf #ArtsEd #PHLed #ArtsAdvocacy

Picasso Project's cover photo

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

secure.everyaction.com

Arts Education is at Risk

📢ARTS EDUCATION IS AT RISK for Philly kids. Don't let school cuts set back student learning! Please take a moment to click and sign this letter, and share widely.

We call on elected and appoint officials to approve the necessary funding to provide vital resources for Philadelphia's schools, and protect arts education from any budget cuts.

https://secure.everyaction.com/wESJ1AlsjkWQe40Tld0vAw2?snw=1&ref=136dd3eb-4ef8-4c30-ac6d-7b3d990c9aa4&fbclid=IwAR2XMOVlM-BgIhAFeZGsC0Y6s3cn6bBgkkBDhIRR9QDnlX-JEvpZFsiyY4Q#!

#FundArtsEd #FundOurSchools #PHLed #ArtsEd Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

secure.everyaction.com Don't Let School Cuts Set Back Student Learning! Sign this letter asking our officials to approve funding to provide vital resources for Philadelphia's schools, and protect arts education from any budget cuts. I SIGNED, will you?

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

thenotebook.org

School officials plead their case for more funds before Council | The notebook

“Donna Cooper, executive director of the advocacy group Public Citizens for Children and Youth, urged City Council to counteract what she termed the “shortsighted cockiness” of the White House and U.S. Senate that she said if not curbed will push the country into a devastating depression.

“I implore you not to let the incompetence in Washington visit more pain on the children of this city. Show them what leadership looks like.”

thenotebook.org The Notebook | Philadelphia Public Schools - Philly education news and views, independent and reader supported.

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

PCCY’s Donna Cooper to PHL City Council today: “The School District has only this year recovered the arts faculty slashed nearly 20 years ago. When the arts are cut, we lose more in student learning than is gained in reduced expenditures. Core content teachers tell PCCY that when their schools lean into the arts, students are more centered and there is a marked increase in the receptivity to learning.

Fund the schools so our students can learn the skills of creativity and persistence. Those are the skills that make them future ready.”

DON'T LET THE INCOMPETENCE IN WASHINGTON HURT OUR KIDS

At today's virtual PHL City Council meeting, PCCY's Donna Cooper testified in defense of students and pre-K amidst #COVID19. Read her call for leadership:

All budget decisions including how to raise revenues and spend limited city funds are difficult in the best of times; in these worst of times, you are faced with what seems like a no-win set of choices. I wish you Godspeed as you tackle this challenge.

Let me state for the record that the U.S. Senate and the White House have demonstrated shortsighted cockiness that if not curbed are likely to push this nation into the depths of depression that could make the 1930s seem like a cake walk, harming this generation and those that follow it.

I implore you not to let the incompetence in Washington visit more pain on the children of this city. Show them what leadership looks like and choose to put children first as you bring our city’s budget into balance.

I ask you to commit to our students that they will not return to schools that are more resource-starved than the schools they walked out of when classes were abruptly ended on March 13th.

We’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t have a happy ending.

If the revenues proposed by the Mayor are not found for the District, essential student support programs will be slashed. It’s simply the worst time, ever, to reduce the modicum of mental health and social supports already in our schools. Fund our schools so that the trauma our children suffered before this pandemic, and through it, is addressed and not ignored. Wounds that are ignored, as you know, only get worse.

And, the District has only this year recovered the arts faculty slashed nearly 20 years ago. When the arts are cut, we lose more in student learning than is gained in reduced expenditures. Core content teachers tell PCCY that when their schools lean into the arts, students are more centered and there is a marked increase in the receptivity to learning.
Fund the schools so our students can learn the skills of creativity and persistence. Those are the skills that make them future ready.

Finally, I ask you to do everything in your power to make sure your budget decisions help our youngest children enter 4th grade able to read. There are many reasons our children are so far behind, but the cure is well known, and it begins with high quality pre-k.

The long-serving members of this Council took a very tough vote to enact the tax on sweetened beverages to enable nearly 6000 children to enroll in pre-k every year. While expanding enrollment in September is not a reasonable plan, the budget you enact must provide funds for when this crisis subsides, hopefully this fall, to support a dramatic expansion of pre-k seats this January followed by another large expansion by September.

Thousands of bright young children, eager to start kindergarten ready to learn, are depending on you to choose them. Stand in stark contrast to the callousness in Washington by refusing to reduce access to pre-k in order to balance the City budget. Show the children of this city you believe they are your winning choice.

Thank you.

#phled

PCCY’s Donna Cooper & Tim Gibbon just testified to City Council in support of a budget that will #FundOurSchools and #FundArtsEd for Philly students this fall! With #ArtsEd, students learn. #ArtsAdvocacy

youtube.com

READ TO ME: "Tumford the Terrible" by Nancy Tillman

Is there anything better than kids reading to kids?! Teddy reads us today's #ReadToMe story: "Tumford the Terrible" by Nancy Tillman. #EachOneTeachOne
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0TsTYAzUS8 #PHLed #ReadAloud #StoryTime

READ TO ME: "Tumford the Terrible" Writen and illustrated by Nancy Tillman Read by Teddy READ TO ME is a read aloud book series presented by PCCY's Picasso P...

artinreallife.com

Art in Real Life: Music Helps Us Connect During Isolation

"Our need to bond – through music especially – relates to the fundamental features of being human.” So true.
Check out "Music Helps Us Connect During Isolation" from Art In Real Life: https://www.artinreallife.com/the-science-of-why-music-helps-us-connect-in-isolation/ #ArtsEd #MusicEd #Music Art in Real LIfe

artinreallife.com “Our need to bond – through music especially – relates to the fundamental features of being human.” – David M Greenberg, University of Cambridge As we all watch the news – the endlessly frightening Covid-19 news – we find joy and a little resilience when we see stories of people singin...

Today's #ReadToMe read-aloud video is a special one, read by Councilmember Helen Gym!📖 Please share this encouraging story, "Julián is a Mermaid" by Jessica Love, with a young person in your life.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=847HM-pqmAQ&list=PLgy0CH5gkzaC9U4R7-MP6lQIEIByvt3V0&index=1 #PHL #PHLed

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY)

“Education is an investment and not a luxury.”

When Mawa Lewis addressed state legislators on a video conference call, she spoke with candor and clarity, fighting for students at Morrisville High School in Bucks County. Dismissing helplessness for hopefulness, Mawa seized the moment, demanding that the half-dozen lawmakers acknowledge her undeniable truth: if the looming threat of COVID-19-blamed cuts to PA school districts materialize, students at already under resourced schools will be the most devastated.

Mawa would know—she’s one of them.

[WATCH THE BUCKS TEEN TOWN HALL HERE: youtu.be/x_uznTBEYBM]

“70% of our students are on free and reduced lunch,” Mawa, a senior at Morrisville, said, adding that even though online learning is mandated, there are still more than a dozen families at her school without internet access or even basic computer access. Lacking connectivity and computers is endemic among students in poorer communities across the Commonwealth.

With estimated cuts due to pandemic-related revenue shortfalls hovering between $1.5-2 billion, Mawa made clear her concern that such cuts would write off already disadvantaged students. She asked the legislators attending PCCY’s first Teen Town Hall to put themselves in the shoes of rising seniors in September.

There are students in her town, she explained, who attend schools where the everyday concerns of Morrisville High students over the availability of athletic programs, electives, and arts and music education opportunities wouldn’t even cross their minds. (Pennsylvania has one of the widest gaps between the highest and lowest spending school districts in America.)

Those opportunities make the difference for students at under resourced schools when applying for college because their experience in arts, music, or athletics helps put them on a level playing field with students from better resourced schools while excelling in those pursuits would set them apart. Lawmakers pushing for cuts, she said, would be “taking a lot of opportunities from students, setting them back even further.”

“You’re taking away $1.5 billion when there’s nothing there for you guys to cut,” she said. “We’re already struggling!”

While there is so much we don’t know about the nature of the ongoing pandemic, what little we do know is fueling shortsighted, facile “solutions,” such as draconian cuts that would dwarf those that followed the Great Recession. Mawa and her classmates serve as a stark example of which students will suffer the most and her message certainly hit the mark.

A lifelong educator, State Representative Wendy Ullman responded unexpectedly, acknowledging the difficult challenge ahead and the necessity of meeting it, while admitting she didn’t yet have a solution in hand.

“I do want to open up the topic which I don’t have the answer to,” Rep. Ullman began. “We know the disparity between what education some students have.” The difference between opportunities afforded to students at more affluent schools and students at under resourced schools like Morrisville High and schools a few short miles away in Philadelphia “is night and day.”

This disparity “is part of our responsibility, to represent every child,” Rep. Ullman said. “We have our work set out for us.”

Two weeks ago, we shared with you the alarming news we were hearing from Harrisburg, regarding massive COVID-19 cuts and a bill to freeze property taxes that would lead to a catastrophic decline in education quality. In PCCY’s commentary, published by The Inquirer this week, we recommended three guiding principles to protect students from undue harm. (LINK) While not solutions in and of themselves, they will certainly inform the hard decisions ahead and answer, at least, the biggest question on our minds: In the midst of uncertainty and confusion, should legislators take an axe to public education funding?

No, they have a responsibility to students like Mawa and her classmates, and to every student attending a public school in Pennsylvania. Easy answers, like shortsighted cuts, are a luxury these students certainly can’t afford now, and which they could very well pay for the rest of their lives.

#paschoolswork #phled

The Picasso Project: Arts Education & Advocacy

When children have access to arts in school, they become creative thinkers and better students. Since its inception in 2002, the Picasso Project has provided over 47,600 children access to innovative arts projects by providing grants to their schools. The Picasso Project awards grants to Philadelphia public schools annually to support projects in creative, performing and digital arts. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of arts programs at under-resourced schools, improve school climate by giving kids an outlet to work together on projects, and spark student interest by integrating arts with core academic subjects. At the same time, students and teachers at Picasso Project schools use their projects to advocate for funding for school arts programs at both the local and state level so future generations of students can express themselves through art at school.

PCCY offers two separate Picasso Project grant models:


  • The Picasso Project Teacher-Based Grant provides up to $5,000 for 6 months to support innovative teacher-driven arts projects. Awarded to approximately 10 schools annually.

  • The Picasso Project School-Based Grant provides $10,000 per year for up to three years to support the development of strong and sustainable arts programs, which integrate the arts school-wide. Awarded to 3 new schools annually. For more information about the Picasso Project, please visit our website: www.pccy.org/picasso-project Check us out on Twitter: @PCCYArts, and Instagram: @PCCY_Arts
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