Active Learning Leads to Literacy: Strategies for Success

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Conferees will leave this panel discussion with research-based, best practices in the use of standards-based arts education content and methodologies to promote enhanced English Language Arts achievement in the early grades. Ila Lane Gross, executive director of Leap (Learning through an Expanded Arts Program), a large and established arts-in-education organization that has a 30-year history of working in the New York City public schools, is the creator of the Active Learning Leads to Literacy (ALLL). Gross and Alice Krieger, associate executive director of Leap, will discuss and demonstrate how this dynamic, proven-effective arts-integration program, develops strong reading and writing skills in kindergarten to second grade students by using music, visual arts, dance, theatre arts, games, cooking, and museum visits. Dr. Vivian Clarke, professor, New York University, is the primary investigator of the in-depth three-year study that has confirmed that Leap’s ALLL program is making a difference. Clarke will speak to her results from the study funded by the U.S. Department of Education that show that 72% of students participating in ALLL significantly outperformed their peers. In fact, two years after participating in ALLL, students were reading one and one-half years about their peers.


Keywords: Literacy, Research-Based Best Practices, Arts Education, Reading, Writing, Early Childhood, English Language Arts, Literacy Skills, Non-Traditional Learning Styles, Hands on Methodologies, English Language Learners (ELLs), Learning Disabilities, Arts Integration, Quantitative Study, Qualitative Study
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: Active Learning Leads to Literacy


Ila Lane Gross

Executive Director, Every Division, Leap, Learning through an Expanded Arts Program
New York City, New York, USA

Ila Lane Gross, Executive Director of Leap and Project Director for the Shelter Mothers Program, founded Leap after working as both an artist and a public school teacher in New York City. With Leap co-founder Ms. Krieger, she has expanded Leap from a small, volunteer-run program to an established nonprofit organization serving 150,000 students in 300 schools throughout the New York metropolitan area. Ms. Gross has been creating and administering arts education programs for over 25 years. She designs and directs a variety of innovative programs, most recently Active Learning Leads to Literacy, a federally-funded research project in early childhood literacy. She is the author of elementary and middle school curricula, including Global Understanding – Cultural Literacy, Understanding History through Art and City as History (both funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities). Ms. Gross has taught graduate courses on archeology and American history, and is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences. She received her M.Ed. from Columbia Teacher’s College.

Dr. Vivian Clarke

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New York City, New York, USA

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Ref: L08P0117