ART FOR EVERY 5th GRADER aims to ensure all students can access quality arts education in order to increase their odds of academic and personal success.

Oklahoma City Public Schools' budget has been drastically cut, hitting arts education especially hard. Studies show this same decline nationwide. Music and arts classes are out of reach in many high-need, high-poverty urban districts. Even schools that offer arts have cut time, staffing or both. The most-troubling data shows an "equity gap" between arts instruction in wealthier districts and those, like Oklahoma City, with a large population of children living in poverty. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center wants to ensure all students can access quality arts education to increase their odds of academic and personal success. This partnership opens that door.

Offered FREE to OKCPS, Art for Every 5th Grader will give every fifth-grade student in the district the chance to make authentic connections between the Oklahoma Academic Standards and arts learning skills.

All students will be exposed to contemporary artworks and can interact with exhibitions both in the classroom and during a visit to Oklahoma Contemporary.

In the 2016-17 schools year, a 10-school pilot program will reach 800 students. Evaluation and refinement will incrementally expand, until all 4,000 Oklahoma City fifth-graders are engaged.

Identify: Students will describe and explore relationships between ideas, content and the arts.

Connect: Students will connect by associating information and perspectives into their own personal experiences.

Engage: Students will engage by participating in arts experiences that promote understanding of their personal strengths and potential.

Create: Students will foster their creative self in combining arts skills with academic concepts through collaborative and individual projects.

Legacy Journals:
 These journals will act as the students "living document" of creative expression throughout their fifth grade year. Students will use the journals in the classroom to complete lesson plans that make artistic connections with the Oklahoma Academic Standards. Students will create and include pre-visit connections and investigations, ongoing assessments and responses of self-expression.

Visit and Collaborative Artwork: Teachers will schedule a FREE visit to Oklahoma Contemporary where students will receive a guided tour in the gallery. During the visit, students will create a collaborative piece of artwork that relates to the exhibiting artist.

Contemporary Connections: This box will be filled with items and information that relates to the exhibiting artworks at Oklahoma Contemporary. Boxes will be exchanged twice a year and filled with new objects. This interactive box will allow students to touch and examine materials to expand their knowledge of contemporary arts and encourage critical thinking about the world around them.