Creative Classroom Connections is a highly innovative program that uses professional development for early childhood classroom teachers to ignite their passion for the arts in education and build their capacity to use arts as a vehicle for learning.  The model unites teachers with trained community volunteers to implement 90 minutes of engaging activities in 3 different art centers during the school day. Teachers instruct the Art Lessons focused on stories and works of art. Volunteers instruct the Art Letter Book lessons focused on letters and creativity and the Art Counting Book lessons focused on learning essential math skills through art.  This new model of implementation replaces a former service model.  It not only builds wider-reaching community/school partnerships, but encourages the possibility of Art With a Heart’s efforts to scale the program in our city’s schools.

To watch a video about Creative Classroom Connections in action click here.

 “AWaH allows me to teach young children in a way that is very developmentally appropriate. In this era of fast-paced, test-crazy times, it allows me to slow down and be the teacher I want to be!~Early Childhood Teacher

I loved getting all of the hugs, notes and pictures from the kids. It’s a pretty great thing when you can do something so small as give the kids attention and you get so much more back out of it. I think it is definitely more rewarding for me that it is them!” ~Early Childhood Volunteer

The program’s success to date has been highly dependent upon our committed community volunteers. Currently within 8 schools, we have 19 participating classrooms serving over 450 kids. More opportunities for learning through the arts is a critical need for the children whom we serve through Creative Classroom Connections.

To support our volunteer effort, apply online here.

Creative Classroom Connections


We are delighted to announce the release of our Final Evaluation Report on the Creative Classroom Connections program.  Funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, this validation study conducted over the first two years of operation documents program impact, feedback and improvements that have taken place.

Key Findings of the report are:

In evaluation of personal development using the Child Behavior Rating Scale, students in the program performed better  than a control group of representative non-participating students in all areas of the evaluation.  Success on the Child Behavior Rating Scale is linked to success reading at grade level by third grade.

All classrooms showed an increase in creative behaviors with volunteer-operated centers making critical contributions to student outcomes.

Read October 2015’s full Executive Summary of Creative Classroom Connections.  Any reader interested in reviewing the full report please contact our Executive Director, Andrew Lee at 317 602 7222 ext 4#.


Next week we wrap up the first semester of Creative Classroom Connections.  The response to our newest and most innovative program has been powerful and positive.  Principals have made special journeys to the classroom to thank us for bringing the program to their school and we’ve seen positive learning outcomes for students and teachers.  Parents are volunteering in the classroom and the curriculum has inspired everyone to new ideas.

The success of the program is the result of the capacity-building model that helps classroom teachers learn how to use art to improve students’ ability to achieve standards.  Students read, count and write in addition to their art activities.

A showcase of this year’s program will take place on Monday June 16th from 5pm to 8pm at Sun King Brewing at 135 N. College Ave.  We invite all of our supporters to come and learn more about the program and its achievements.  Perhaps you might be interested in volunteering?  Come and meet the current teachers and volunteers to see if this is the right opportunity for you.

The program will be back in the fall for the second year of a two year validation study funded by Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Junior League of Indianapolis and we have four potential new partners for fall programming who are currently evaluating the program. We also have more demand from within IPS.

A vital part of the program is building community and that includes bringing a diverse group of people into the classroom to help run the program.  We welcome the assistance of our readers in helping to identify more volunteers for the fall.  This year we’ve had former teachers, teachers in training, a pastor, several parents and a few artists.  The commitment is two hours a week for a semester at locations primarily in Center Township.  For more information please email Carmen at cgarciaharris@artwithaheart.us or call 317 602 7222


AWaH is excited  to announce the roll out of our re-designed program, Creative Classroom Connections. Starting in early February, our newly formed partnerships with IPS #105, IPS #96, Key Learning Community, and Center for Inquiry #2 will engage 10 early childhood classroom teachers and over 20 volunteers in implementing  three different art centers for nearly 250 Kindergartners in their classrooms each week. Working in a center rotation model, teachers will instruct the Art Lessons focused on stories and works of art. Volunteers will instruct the Art Letter Book lessons focused on language and creativity and the Art Counting Book lessons focused on learning essential math skills through art.

After months of planning and development, AWaH staff has provided 5 hours of professional development for teachers and volunteers at each school, delivered mounds of new art materials including specialty crayons, markers, model magic, paints, brushes, colored pencils, sponges, various types of papers, (just to name a few), and new art cubbies for sorting and drying their special works of art. We have recruited a fabulous and diverse group of committed volunteers from college students, to parents, to former teachers, to community members. We could not promote the new program and build capacity for growth in our schools without our volunteers.  Additionally, we are appreciative of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for funding the program and of the Junior League of Indianapolis for funding the materials for each classroom.  We also offer a special thanks to the IPS Administration for printing all of the student art books and portfolios.

Thrilled at the level of excitement that principals and teachers have for the program, we can’t wait for AWaH’s students to show they are Artists, Respectful, and Talented! Watch for updates, photos, exhibit information,  and new developments as we continue to grow this program


Summer Camps Kindergarten After School Honors Art

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