Closing the Gap in Literacy with Arts Integration at the CAM 11-10-18

“My colleagues and I thought the workshop was wonderful! This week, I’ve already taught my kids Squirrel, Nut, Tree (some are playing it during recess as I write this). We’ve written without using punctuation; we’ve used our five senses to write about a piece of art I photographed on Saturday; and they’ve free-written about the bird sculpture I made. They are ASKING to do more writing. The workshop inspired me and has energized my class in the best way.” –Kelly Regan, Teacher, Third Grade, Penderlea School
“The professional development was hands-on and allowed each of us to personalize the information according to the standards that we are responsible for teaching.  I plan to incorporate many of the strategies and ideas into the professional development experiences I will create for my teachers.  Looking at it from my perspective, as a district leader, I believe that it is important for us to think about how we might be able to bring visual literacy to multiple areas of our curriculum.  Your experiences helped me to look at visual art in new and personal ways.  Thank you for sharing your passions and helping me to ignite my own! ” Eboni Massey, K-5 ELA Curriculum SpecialistCumberland County Schools

The Southeast Center for Arts Integration led another “Closing the Gap with Arts Integration” professional development workshop at the Cameron Art Museum for teachers from two states and seven counties. Mimi Herman and KT Childress began the day by asking teachers to write down a challenging standard they teach, and what students say about it.

A challenge for an art teacher, and what students say when she introduces it.








Mimi and KT led entrancing workshops that integrated the amazing art in the galleries with English Language Arts standards. Teachers investigated art works as text–they looked (for two minutes without talking!), saw, questioned, analyzed, interpreted, and conversed with the art by writing narratives, 1,000 word sentences, and poetry.

They examined the works of Grainger McCoy.

Grainger McCoy





They made art in 2-and 3-D.

A sculpture of a bird made with paper, recycled paper and objects, chenille stems and hot glue.

“The Closing the Gap in Literacy with the Arts  workshops were amazing. It’s always fun to see what great opportunities the CAM holds for our students, and getting to experience the galleries in a hands-on way is great! We learned some games to play with students to make their experience with art more personal and we were able to create an underwater animal to contribute to the huge interactive art installation. I loved the writing workshop – writing has not always been easy for me, but using art to spark a writing assignment somehow made it fun, and I was totally surprised at what I was able to create. I feel like now I can take this back to the classroom and hopefully make writing fun for my students as well! I also loved the art making project using Grainger McKoy’s sculptures to inspire a story and sculpture of our own. Thank you for the continuing opportunities to better my craft as an artist and educator!” –Lisa Banester, Art Teacher, Southport Elementary

At the end of the day, they worked on lesson plans to take back to their students.

Teachers designing lesson plans based on their challenging standard.

“This PD was awesome! I always tried to tie Language Arts and writing into my Art class but always felt it was boring, forced, and not done well. I was grasping. This workshop gave me great ideas on how to build up to the writing and make it so I am providing guidelines and the students can take off in the direction they want. This was well worth my time and can’t wait until the next! Thank you CAM for prividing us with great information and resources and hands on fun and experience.” –Cassandra Kane


Luc Travers  of the CAM gave the teachers an effective way for them to help students find a personal and emotional relationship to art works–from there they will be eager to write or create.

Teachers using the Quick Reference Guide to find standards in art and literacy to integrate in a lesson plan.

It was inspiring to see the educators dig deep into the art and emerge so happy. Many thanks to Holly Tripman Fitzgerald, Georgia Mastroieni, Anne Brennan, Troy, Mike, Doris, Heather Wilson, and all the CAM staff.


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Closing the Gap in STEM with Arts Integration Leaves Teachers Happy at the Cameron Art Museum (CAM) in Wilmington, NC

On May 19, 2018, the Southeast Center for Arts Integration led a day of workshops  for teachers and parents from eight counties in the Wilmington area. (New Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Onslow, Pender, Sampson) The workshops were free, and the CAM provided free morning snacks and a free lunch. (Yes, there IS a free lunch!) Thank you to the Joseph and Elsa Flowers Davies Fund for support!

Thank you so much for all of the time you, Jef, and September put into these workshops. I actually came home and did the 3D shape activity with my girls today!  What a great way to study geometrical shapes before testing! Hands on! My kindergartener did a great job describing the shape … which made writing a poem easy for my 3rd grader. –Traci Rottmann, Home-schooling Mother

I think students will benefit from a hands on approach while engaging with their peers.  I also took note of making sure to balance standards from different disciplines without overdoing it.  I learned it is important to always consider the most relevant items to assess during each lesson. – Kamica Morris, Pre-K—2nd Teacher, NHCS

Workshops We Led

How Can YOU Use the Cameron Art Museum? Let Us Count the Ways! with Luc Travers

Teachers learned about the CAM’s rich resources for teachers and students. They made connections between the art in exhibits and the NC Standards. They found out about classes for adults and youth, weekend workshops, and field trips. They heard about instructor-guided tours of the museum’s exhibitions that include objects in the museum’s permanent collection not on view. They got sneak previews into exciting, upcoming exhibitions.

Gallery walks and connection to artists through our phones and their interviews was eye opening. The upcoming CAM displays sound fabulous and I look forward to attending more often. – Robbin Dunthorn, EC 6th-8th Grades, Pender County Schools

The fact that the presenters were knowledgeable about the Standards was welcomed. – Diane Best, Reading and Math Teacher, 6-8th Grades, Sampson County Schools

Arts Integration Does Not Have to be a Project with Jef Lambdin

Teachers experienced examples of short, rigorous, and to-the-point STEAM lessons that enhance classroom atmosphere and culture.

I will be using the 2 “Energizer” games that we learned, in my 4th grade classroom. – Michelle Grill, St. Mark’s School

The movement exercise in factoring was also a fun way to incorporate learning in a group setting.  Again, the camaraderie that built between the participants is what we are trying to teach our boys ( and a few girls) in our class. Social skills and respect is a focus in our middle school. – Robbin Dunthorn, EC Teacher, 6th-8th Grades, Pender County Schools

Beyond the Picture Frame with September Krueger

Participants read the clues in an artist’s composition and collectively imagined where they were and what the needs might be beyond the frame. Working with measurement, scale, and social organization, they designed solutions for questions about place. They were integrating Math (measurement, scale, fractions), Social Studies: (interactions between humans and the environment), and Science (how humans adapt behavior to live in changing habitats).

Thank you for such a wonderful day.  Albeit very rainy and difficult for me to reach, it was totally worth every minute on that wet and slick road! I am able to bring so many ideas back to my classroom. … I enjoyed experiencing the different ways to appreciate art in both gallery spaces, as I believe that I can utilize ideas, questioning techniques and ‘games’ for all levels of students. – Natalie Doherty, K-5 Visual Art Teacher, Brunswick County Schools

Geometric Shapes & Concrete Poems with Jef Lambdin

Teachers experienced an authentic learning challenge designed for students. The workshop matched up state math and English standards with a work of visual art from the CAM’s North Carolina Arts Council 2017 Fellowship Award Exhibition, so teachers understood how to create rich lessons that integrate Art, English, and Mathematics.

That was a very rewarding day at CAM! Meeting new people and learning ways to integrate the Arts into the classroom was exciting! The poetry workshop was spot on as we have been working with a resource class ( full of boys) trying to encourage creativity through poems. The building of the shapes and group discussions about what the shape reminded us of made the poem writing a breeze! I look forward to taking this back to the boys!! – Robbin Dunthorn, EC Teacher, 6th-8th Grades, Pender County Schools

Words of Wisdom with September Krueger

Teachers made a mask inspired by quotes from artists; took away a mask that speaks words of inspiration for your classroom.

Loved looking at art pieces and using it to jump start a writing activity. …loved all the presentations! — Donna Hampton, 3rd Grade Teacher, St. Mark’s School

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Educators’ Night at the CAM: March 15, 2018,

Southeast NC Educators –

Happy Hour is on the Cameron Art Museum

Spend a fun and relaxing evening at CAM with free admission and view our exhibitions State of the Art/Art of the State and North Carolina Arts Council 2017 Fellowship Award Exhibition during an exclusive event for educators.

Our spring Educators Night will provide information and materials about tours, workshops, lesson plans, and other free resources for area educators. All educators and administrators – from Pre-K to College – welcome and encouraged to attend and explore fun ways to bring art into your classroom and spark creativity in your students.

Complimentary drink ticket for all registered participants.
Light bites provided by CAM Café
Live Music from 4:30 – 8:00 PM
Special Educators Tapas Menu available from 5 – 7 PM

5:00 PM – Welcome remarks by Director of Youth and Family Education
5:30 PM – Highlight Tour of North Carolina Arts Council 2017 Fellowship Award Exhibition
5:30 PM – Preview of free professional development workshop Closing the Gap in STEM, led by the Southeast Center for Arts Integration
6:00 PM – Highlight Tour of North Carolina Arts Council 2017 Fellowship Award Exhibition
6:00 PM – Preview of our free professional development workshop Closing the Gap in STEM, led by the Southeast Center for Arts Integration

This event is free but advanced registration is required. For more information,   or call: 910-395-5999

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Closing the Gap in Literacy with Arts Integration

for Educators & Parents of Students in Grades Pre-K-8

November 11, 2017 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Presented by

The Cameron Art Museum & The Southeast Center for Arts Integration

CAM2tchrs strings2012 167smallThis professional development session is offered free for all educators and parents in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, and Sampson counties. Designed collaboratively by the Cameron Art Museum and the Southeast Center for Arts Integration, it incorporates elements of both arts-integrated and hands-on learning experiences with Literacy. We will use the art exhibits in the galleries as springboards to dive into the connections between visual literacy and reading and writing, and between visual art, literary art, and theatre arts. We thank the Joseph and Elsa Flowers Davies Fund for funding.7189218225_aba89e398a_s

CEU’s: We plan for the workshop to result in CEU’s for teachers. We provide participants with workshop descriptions and vitae of facilitators. Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.

The workshop will take place at the CAM: 3201 S. 17th Street Wilmington, NC 28412  910.395.5999

To register:

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Full STEAM AHEAD! May 20, 2017 at Cameron Art Museum

Closing the Gap in STEM & Literacy with Arts Integration

for Educators & Parents of Students in Grades Pre-K-8
May 20, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Wilmington, NC, US

First of all I just want to say Thank You!!!!! I really enjoyed every session of the workshops.  I loved the rhythm games that were introduced to us and plan on using them to help my pre-k students with rhyming words.  I will also be using the movement piece to help them understand personal space.  There was nothing that did not have value in it.  I can and will use every part as often as I can.  This year is almost over but watch out next year I am ready!!!! … I look forward to the next part of the series.
Sarah C Bailey, Mary Washington Howe Pre-K

This professional development session was offered FREE for all educators and parents in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, and Sampson counties. Designed collaboratively by the Cameron Art Museum and the Southeast Center for Arts Integration, it incorporates elements of both arts-integrated and hands-on learning experiences with Mathematics, Science, and Literacy.

We thank Duke Energy Foundation and the Joseph and Elsa Flowers Davies Fund for their generous support of this on-going initiative.


Making Abstract Math Concepts Concrete


Traditional textbooks and verbal instruction in Mathematics, Science, and Literacy can fail to engage the portions of the brain that can truly comprehend and apply the concepts essential to deep understanding. These workshops  build on strategies that foster deep understanding by engaging the whole brain and offering opportunities for both concrete and abstract experiences. They address multiple strands of the Common Core and NC Standards for Science, Literacy and Mathematics for grades Pre-K-8. Teaching artists who are masters at providing experiential, collaborative learning experiences to both teachers and students led the workshops.

Activities that engage our students and provide for hands-on activities always keep our students learning. Thank you for all your ideas. I am now looking at ways to try them in my room.
Miriam Salas, 2nd Grade Teacher

I have attended many teacher workshops as I have 12 years high school teaching experience and yours made me excited to get back into the classroom and try many of your ideas. Please keep in contact and let me know when you have your next workshop. I will be there.
Sarah Dehn

Movement & Percussion Bring a Story to Life

Movement & Percussion Bring a Story to Life

CEU credit was approved by the 8 counties and the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education. We provided workshop descriptions and vitae of workshop facilitators. Participants received a Certificate of Completion.

The workshop took place at: Cameron Art Museum, 3201 South 17th St., Wilmington, NC


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Duplin County Schools Full STEAM Ahead!

Thanks to Kevin Smith at Duplin County Schools for arranging a professional development session with K-5 teachers. The workshop was called, “Full STEAM Ahead! Closing the Gap in STEM Subjects Through the Arts.” We explored how Dance and Theatre Arts can be integrated with Mathematics and Science. We made human graphs, used our bodies to compose and decompose. We collaborated to express mathematical and scientific principles through theatrical and dance performances. In the pictures, the teachers are working on lesson plans based on the workshop.
The workshop was sponsored by the Cameron Art Museum, facilitated by Sheila Kerrigan, of the SE Center for Arts Integration, and funded by Duke Energy and the Corning Foundation. Many thanks to all involved!

“I thought the workshop was outstanding.  As I said at the end, when students read, write, think, and talk, learning occurs.  Your workshop added movement to this and everyone seemed to enDuplin Wkshp 2016IMG_0807joy the session very much.  My hope is that there is a direct impact on the students in the classrooms represented.”
Kevin Smith, Chief Officer for District-Wide Early College & Professional Development
Sheila Kerrigan: The Mime Who Talks's photo.

“I enjoyed your class and the movement within.  I used the theater standards with force and motion today within my first grade classroom and the children had the best time acting out ‘The Enormous Turnip.’ The role cards made them all feel like they were in charge.   I plan to do some more tomorrow and for the rest of my teaching career.  Thanks for the excitement you’ve added to my classroom.”

Tracy Cruse, Duplin County School first grade teacher

“I have already used some of the ideas in my classroom. My students have played the control game and acted out the butterfly life cycle. We have also counted money using the addition and subtraction activity we did in the workshop.  The information I received on Tuesday has and will continue to impact my teaching and I look forward to applying many more of your ideas and activities in my classroom.”
Taylor Edwards, Duplin County 2nd grade teacher  Sheila Kerrigan: The Mime Who Talks's photo.Sheila Kerrigan: The Mime Who Talks's photo.
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SE Center for Arts Integration at Cameron Art Museum

October 23rd and 24th, 2015, SECAI  leads Full STEAM Ahead!! Closing the Gap in STEM Subjects through the Arts for K-8 teachers in eight counties in Southeastern North Carolina. The workshops are sponsored by Wilmington’s Cameron Art Museum. They follow a series of professional development sessions on Closing the Gap in Literacy through the Arts.

The workshops are fully funded by Duke Energy and The Corning Foundation, so they are free for teachers from New Hanover, Brunswick, Bladen, Onlsow, Pender, Columbia, Sampson, and Duplin counties. There will be follow-up half-day workshops in each of the eight counties on using the arts to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

We express our gratitude to the Cameron Art Museum, especially Martha Burdette, Curator of Education, and Anne Brennan, Director, for their deep commitment to education, and to Duke Energy and The Corning Foundation for their generous support.

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SC Alliance for Arts Education Presentation

Jef Lambdin, Faye Stanley, and Sheila Kerrigan gave a presentation, Effective and Efficient Arts Integration Learning Strategies, at the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education conference in Columbia, on October 8, 2015. About twenty-five teachers, old friends and new, participated. Jef taught the group a simple mime game that can be used to assess, teach, reinforce, and demonstrate learning in science. Teachers immediately made connections to several other subject areas. Sheila told the group a story while some people drew key images on large paper. Everyone chose a character in the story and explored key moments through movement, stillness, and in relation to other characters. Faye taught everyone a traditional African-American chant with interchangeable verses, and we sang it about the cycle of human life, butterfly life-cycles, and other topics.

Teachers grasped the point–that they can use these simple structures to teach subject areas across the curriculum. They do not have to be mimes to invite their students to show what they know using their bodies. They don’t have to be musicians to lead a chant. (No melody!) They can tell a story while their students create the setting on big paper and physically explore character relationships, thoughts, and emotions.

In spite of devastating flooding in parts of the state, and in spite of the fact that the city of Columbia had no potable water, the SCAAE board decided to go ahead with the conference, as planned. Many teachers and administrators from all over the state managed to attend, even with hundreds of roads across the state closed due to flood damage. The conference hotel staff at the Marriott, put in much extra effort to creatively manage contingencies like the inability to wash dishes, using bottled water to make much-needed coffee, and providing bottled water for 200 or so attendees.

Our hats are off to the SCAAE board, to all the educators who managed to get there, and to the Marriott staff who made it work for the group. We look forward to seeing them next year!

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Presenting at A+ Schools Conference

We are excited to be presenting at the A+ Schools 20th Anniversary Conference in Durham, NC, at the Carolina Theater, on August 3-5th.

Sheila Kerrigan leads a workshop for educators on “Fostering Creative Thinking in the Classroom.” Here is a handout: FosterCreativThinknClassA+2015

Jef Lambdin leads, “Multiple Intelligences: Theory in 1983 is Practice in 2015.”

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Presenting in Chattanooga

Sheila Kerrigan was invited to present a workshop, called, “How Do I Get My Students to Collaborate and Discuss Effectively?” at the 2013 Arts and Education Forum of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts in Chattanooga, TN on May 15 and 16, 2013. Co-founder of the Southeast Center for Arts Integration, Jef Lambdin, also attended and assisted with the workshop (and drove and made the trip fun). About a dozen educators, artists, and administrators participated with a will. They created beautiful mini-performances about equity and social justice, using a collaborative method that Sheila has developed for use in the classroom. “I love it when a plan comes together!” (Hannibal from The A-Team)Chattanooga forum w Jef Chattanooga Forum 2013 justice

Here is the handout:

How Do I Get Students 2 Collaborate wkshp2013

Teaching Artist Training in Durham, NC

Sheila led a training for about 45 teaching artists for the Durham Arts Council’s Creative Arts in the Public Schools program in January, 2013. She led a brief arts-integrated activity involving history, theater, and writing.  She walked the artists through the process of accessing the new Common Core and NC Essential Standards in their arts residencies. And then artists collaborated to locate standards that they are already teaching in the arts and one other subject area.

“Sheila’s kinesthetic exercises were inspiring.”

“It was engaging, informative, fun, & an ice-breaker. Mind if I steal it?”

“The Civil War improv/statue/writing exercise really sparked a lot of ideas for me.”

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