Our educational programs are created to help children and adults, whether they have special needs, want to learn a new trade or skill, or just want to have fun.
ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act – also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is the largest federally funded education act and it impacts every school district in the USA. There are many state and county agencies set up to help schools navigate the complex web of federal regulations, requirements, and guidelines. Besides providing assistance with the implementation of federal funds, these services enable schools to develop and implement quality programs focused on improving student achievement. The counterpart of the state agencies that have resources available are corporations and smaller non-profit companies that support this mission, such as Share Create Reuse and Promote.
As stated in our Articles of Incorporation, our purpose is to:
-help teachers, students and artists gain access to affordable supplies to develop their creative potential;
-divert usable materials from the waste stream to provide inexpensive art materials while promoting recycling and reuse;
-provide workshops, educational materials and tools to foster creative entrepreneurship and develop a sustainable business in the arts;
-provide outreach efforts to schools and the community to support the local arts and culture.
Our programs include:
Sending out ambassadors to raise social consciousness about reuse (A Voice to Share),
Hold fundraising events and seek sponsors to fund workshops (Annual Magic City Makeover, Garage Sale Saturdays);
Provide an outlet for repurposed donations (Repurpose with a Purpose retail store),
Provide a gallery to display repurposed art and creations (Upcycle Boutique consignments)
Support the local community in artistic and cultural endeavors (Magic City Makerspace, Artwalk, Book Nooks).
To maximize our impact on current efforts, we are currently partnering with the following groups/agencies and specific projects with established goals:
AmeriCorps Vista/Better Billings Foundation – Book Nook – local neighborhood free book libraries (50 requests)
Montana Arts Council/MAP Program – (Billings local group meeting place, photography training classes)
Blankets and Bears and Tenacious Dames (2016 goal- 700 bundles)
COR Enterprise – craft projects (outings for fun time)
South Side Task Force (help eliminate graffiti, replace with artistic murals)
PTA/PTO for Billings School District 2 (crafts at meetings )
HRDC- working with youth and adults’ programs to provide job skills (hiring 4 young adults part time)
Downtown Billings Alliance (participation in Artwalk where local artists can display their work 6-10 artists per showing)
Governor’s Office of Economic Development – Innovate Symposium 2016 (reaching out to other communities about makerspaces)
Billings Online Entrepreneurs (Meetup group for local entrepreneurs to help each other).
Short term goals to promote our availability of services and facilities
-Billings Chamber of Commerce (networking outreach to other members who want to help the kids by participating in our Pallet or Pinterest parties, and donating the proceeds to causes such as DonorsChoose.org -21 Billings schools currently listed)
– reach out to teachers/parents for all 22 SD2 elementary schools, private, charter and home schooled, grades k-4th
– reach out to more PTA groups, assisting in reestablishing defunct PTAs’
– make connections to re-establish Junior Achievement
– make connections with Boys and Girls club, YMCA and YWCA about our low cost arts and crafts and facilities
– make connections with adult homes and clubs who can utilize our facilities, teaching and entrepreneurial efforts.
At times, per the discretion of the board of directors, we may provide scholarships, internships, certificate volunteer opportunities, grants, awards and promotional assistance which will provide opportunities for involvement in current and future activities and programs in order to have a greater impact for artistic and cultural change in and around Billings. It’s all about the kids.
The Bigger Picture
From the Montana Arts Council: For Our Children: A Report on the Status of Arts Education in Montana
A report commissioned by the Montana Arts Council conducted a survey with total of 967 elementary, middle and high schools from 4 states (Idaho/212, Montana/313, Utah/292, Wyoming/150) about the status of arts education. The data came from 2 studies collected in survey format (1999–2000 and 2009–10), and this information was formed from responses by principals, superintendents and head teachers – it is their perception of the state of arts education in their schools
Differences between the 1999-2000 vs 2009–10 survey, the percent numbers that Dropped were:
69 percent for connecting visual arts learning with other subject areas, 79% in 1999-2000 (-10%)
Instructors developing knowledge about visual arts from 73% in 1999–2000 – 56 % in 2009–10 (-16%)
Most public elementary schools offered instruction that was designated specifically for visual arts; 83 % in 2009–10 and 87% 1999–2000.
In both 1999–2000 and 2009–10, a majority of participants reported that participation improved their teaching to a moderate or great extent from 68 % for training on integrating educational arts to 77 %.
In all data sets, the percentage of elementary schools that offered visual arts instruction differed by poverty concentration. In 2009–10, for example, visual arts offered throughout the year was only offered by 83 percent of schools with the highest poverty concentration and 92 percent of schools with the lowest poverty concentration. As you can see in the table below, this high/low number is consistent across the board. The schools with highest poverty levels aren’t getting the same quality of arts, yet all indicators point to the fact that the more art is brought into the schools, teaching becomes easier, and All students learn more.
Music follows this same pattern, with these observations…. Schools with higher poverty had more teachers that taught arts and schools subjects combined rather than having dedicated teachers for each subject, schools had less dedicated space for music and arts and schools had less budget for music and arts, where teachers sometimes picked up the tab or had to search for funding to pay for art and music materials out of their own pockets and on their own time.
Drama/Theater is at the lower end of the statistics, and in some cases is just non-existent in highest poverty elementary schools.
On page 12 of the report, this quote pretty much sums it up:
“Until the arts are included in AYP*, you can expect that elementary schools will largely view them as nonessential or frivolous. It’s a matter of survival.‘’
*AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress – a measurement defined by the No Child Left Behind Act
Of all the data and other statistics, this had the most impact and relevance on why Share Create Reuse and Promote exists – It is at this age that kids are most impressionable. We as adults are more or less saying they (the children) aren’t worth our time or bother.
Where we see having the most impact at the elementary level, can be reflected in the top 5 items that the participants determined to be their biggest need:
Most Helpful to Improve Learning in the Arts in Schools (ranked highest to lowest)
Certified Specialist for Teaching Visual Art 1
Availability of more Arts Supplies or Equipment (for any arts discipline) 2
More Flexibility in Scheduling 3
Facilities and Classroom Space 4
Professional Development Opportunities 5
List above from top 16 items on survey to assist teachers, Share Create Reuse and Promote currently can address the needs of items 2, 4, 5, and can provide item 1 more opportunity to explore alternate ways to teach that are reasonable and affordable for everyone.