Fox Chapel Area School District’s Creativity and Literacy Program helps children develop literacy and 21st century skills through technology and hands-on experiences. Students and their parents use physical and technology tools to create, communicate, and collaborate while engaging in explorations with a program facilitator. Utilizing the Brightworks school “arc” pedagogy, the program ushers families through learning paths of exploration, expression, and exposition.
When often the elements of 21st century skills, maker design, STEAM, and literacy are isolated, the Creativity and Literacy Program harmonizes these philosophies into an immersive environment that fosters inquiry and creative expression. Revitalizing a traditional program and physical space, the new vision infuses critical elements to grow learners both inside the Maker Studio and at home. Focusing on process over product, as children explore, parents listen to their descriptions of what is created, its purpose, and predictions of what will happen next. Parents then are able to scaffold language development and physical skills.
The multifaceted approach to student engagement includes onsite classes, community outreach, and a lending library of maker boxes and technology devices. This innovative program surmounts the typical boundaries of formal education where collaborative learning and teaching extends beyond traditional time, space, and resources.