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About Thriving Minds
Now more than ever, creativity and imagination are an important part of helping children learn to think critically, solve problems and express themselves—all necessary to compete in today’s global community. Wherever children are—in school or out—Thriving Minds works to surround them with opportunities to develop skills and nurture talents that lead to success.
Bringing imagination into the classroom
Thriving Minds is helping educators to think differently about how they engage students in the classroom. Through the initiative, curriculum has been developed that integrates the arts, technology and other creative activities into math, science, language arts and social studies coursework. The curriculum is supported by bringing professional artists into classrooms to co-teach alongside educators, providing in-school performances that align to topics students are studying, and offering field trips to cultural institutions with in-class tools to support the learning experience, among other things. This integrated model aligns with state education guidelines for student achievement at each grade level. And through Thriving Minds, Dallas ISD has reintroduced formal arts instruction to its elementary schools by hiring fine arts specialists and increasing the amount of class time devoted to music and visual arts.
In its role as managing partner, Big Thought provides professional development to educators on how to use imagination and creativity to help students be active participants in their own learning. Similar training is offered to other Thriving Minds partners and cultural providers allowing them to tailor their educational programming to support the school district’s learning outcomes.
To learn more about how Thriving Minds can enhance lesson plans or to book a performance, in-school residency or cultural excursion, visit our Educators section.
Connecting pathways in out-of-school time
More than half of what today’s youth learns takes place outside a traditional school setting. And studies show that students who participate in quality, structured after-school and summer programs get better grades, show fewer at-risk behaviors and benefit from positive relationships with peers and other caring adults. To ensure children have access to quality, creative-learning after school, and during weekends and summer, Thriving Minds is focusing on expanding out-of-school time opportunities across the city. Learn more about our after-school and summer programs.
Part of Thriving Minds work in out-of-school time is focused on helping to connect what students learn during the day to what takes place in the after-school and summer programs. This requires Dallas ISD, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and others in the arts and cultural community to work together to ensure that programming taking place across the city supports in-school learning.
Thriving Minds partners representing youth and family organizations, the faith community, libraries, parks and recreation centers and others offer students opportunities to have formal training in areas of interest to them, including visual and performing arts, dance, creative writing, theater, music, video production and more. These free and low-cost programs are periodically evaluated through Big Thought’s Six Dimensions of Quality toolkit to establish a benchmark of high quality for all programs taking place across the city. Thriving Minds partners also have access to resources, tools and supports to build their capacity to better serve the children and families in their communities.
Thriving Minds partners
When the Thriving Minds vision is fully realized, Dallas will be able to provide equal access to learning and resources for thousands of children. It takes the effort of the entire community to build an infrastructure that can sustain dynamic, creative learning opportunities for Dallas youth for years to come. See who’s helping make this vision a reality.