Nations in Neighborhoods: Integrating Social Studies, Community Resources, and the Arts

New York City’s Community School Districts 28 on behalf of Districts 25, 28 & 30 in Queens County, and in collaboration with the cultural center, City Lore, have designed Nations in Neighborhoods, a program for integrating social studies, community resources, and the arts.    

The goals of Nations in Neighborhoods are:  

  1. Create a replicable model for integrating social studies, community resources, and the arts;  
  2. Build teachers’ capacity to use community resources and culturally responsive instruction in their classrooms;
  3. Help teachers address the challenges and promises of a highly diverse and shifting immigrant student population through cultural arts integration;
  4. Refine, expand, document and implement successful models in folk arts and cultural resources designed to strengthen learning in and through the arts in grades 3-8. 
  5. Improve students’ literacy and social studies knowledge and skills, while strengthening their ability to in create, perform, and respond to the arts, in measurable ways.
  6. Document and evaluate student progress towards meeting State and National Art Standards I, II, III and IV. 
  7. Disseminate and replicate, locally and nationally, successful models for cultural arts and social studies integration, through a project website, publications, and presentations at regional and national arts and social studies education conferences. 
  8. Develop a repository of cultural arts-integrated units and resources related to three regions of the world — Latin America, Africa, and Asia — and their contribution to American history and culture;
  9.  Provide teachers with tools and strategies for documenting and assessing student learning in and through the arts;
  10.  Encourage parent and community engagement in the life of the schools through community field trips, and guest artist and community member visits in the classroom;
  11. Execute a rigorous quasi-experimental evaluation that gauges the effectiveness of the arts intervention, and can be used as a model for evaluating cultural arts in-school initiatives in elementary and middle schools;