Grades K-1

Music, Dance, Theatre Arts and Visual Arts

“Secrets of the Heart” Residency
“Secrets of the Heart” – Friendship and a Smile • Kindness • Imagination • Gratitude

Secrets of the Heart Learn MoreSecrets of the Heart is our foundational program for Kindergarten.  It starts children on a journey to discover the arts and the gifts that live within them. The “Secrets of the Heart,” or themes that are introduced in kindergarten will be built upon through 3rd grade.

The Secrets of the Heart’s curriculum links the arts experience to academic achievement and critical thinking skills in Language Arts, Listening/Speaking, History, Social Studies and the development of interpersonal skills. This program reveals the arts to children as it relates to culture and tradition, gives them a little geography and history and teaches them, through self-expression, how to have greater respect for themselves and each other. This program is created to the Visual and Performing Arts Standards for the State of California (VAPA) and national Common Core Standards for Language Arts.

esperanzaparent-workshopEach program begins with a workshop for parents introducing a family arts project. During the six-week residency children, parents and family members create a vision board that represents the family’s hopes and dreams for the future.

This is followed by professional development for all pd-leo-20122teachers in the school. Teachers participating in the residency learn the program’s goals and means to achieve those goals and grade level teachers learn tools to implement arts learning in their classrooms.

Audience in actionNext is an opening performance for up to 250 children (participating classes and other grade levels.) Children learn the first five “Secrets of the Heart” – friendship and a smile, kindness, imagination and gratitude – through music, dance, drumming, story and ASL sign language. Hearts with the wishes of children and adults decorate the tree and stage. The auditorium is filled with joy and anticipation, which lays the foundation for what will follow.

In music workshops, children learn about the ukulele and its origin and through the art ofFullSizeRender songwriting they explore the first “Secrets of the Heart,” friendship and a smile, and assemble their ideas to create an original song. They learn the parts that make up a song, learn to sing that song and learn movement to the music.

Child dancingIn dance workshops, children visit the country of Liberia, Africa. They learn that because of language differences, the people of Africa welcome visitors to their villages with dance. They learn a call and response in the Yoruba language; they learn its meaning and movement. They discuss the third “Secret,” kindness, and that welcoming is an act of kindness.

Theatre artsIn theatre arts workshops, children explore the art of Diego Rivera. They close their eyes and enter each painting using their five senses and use the fourth “Secret,” imagination, to create an original story about that work of art.

In visual arts workshops, children explore hats and YM Gardnergirl w:hat horizontalheaddresses of countries from around the world. They learn there is art you can see, art you can hear and art you can wear as they begin to create their own headdresses decorated with drawings of things for which they are thankful.

Bennie leading closeup2Following two morning rehearsals, the children wear their headdresses, costumes of kente cloth and confidently perform their songs, dance and stories in a culmination for family and friends. Dream boards the children and theirfamilies have created line the auditorium and once culmination is complete, children and families join in a procession to the live Friendship Tree dedication.  What was once part of the opening set and is now planted in the kinder yard. It is decorated with hearts/wishes made by the students, parents and teachers at the beginning of the program.

The program is designed for four classrooms, two workshops per week, with up to 30 students per class and can be expanded to include additional classrooms.

DREAM BOARD - RAPHAELEsperanza Friendship Tree 2This program is created to VAPA and Common Core Standards.

This program is followed by the Secrets of the Heart continuation program – Passport To The Heart Assemblies