Artists in Education Residency Grant Awarded to Walter C. Black Elementary School

Michelle Ruff, second-grade special education teacher, and Mariagrace Welsh, fine arts teacher wrote the grant last year and were notified late last spring that Walter C. Black Elementary School was chosen as a recipient.

The school will be collaborating with artist Marilyn Keating for the residency. The goal for this year's residency is to create an artfully inspired outdoor learning space at Walter C. Black Elementary School guided by the students. 

classroomThe learning space will have an outdoor chalkboard, seating area, sculptures and installation art that the students create, and room for the students to be socially distanced. Ms. Keating will help to facilitate the project with remote and hybrid second graders.
The residency is anticipated to begin shortly after spring break.

“Outdoor learning spaces are a wonderful addition to schools. This outdoor learning space is special though because it integrates an appreciation of the arts and promotes a connection with our natural world. We are so grateful to have this space at our school,” says Mrs. Gladkowski, Walter C. Black Elementary School Principal. 

Ms. Welsh says, “We are very excited to be the recipients of an Artist in Education grant this year. I hope that the outdoor learning space that is created with our visiting artist will be used for many years to come.”

In addition, Walter C. Black Elementary School also received a $500 grant from Investors Savings Bank to put toward the creation of our outdoor classroom.

The Artists in Education (AIE) Residency Grant Program is a unique partnership bringing dynamic, in-depth arts education programs to New Jersey’s schools. 

The mission of AIE is to make the arts a basic part of a sound, quality education for all students, Pre-K through 12. AIE amplifies the importance of the unique partnership and synergy between a teacher and a teaching artist: providing quality professional development for teachers and life-altering experiences for students through long-term residencies (20 days or more).