Updated: Aug 7, 2020
"In times of change, learners inherit the earth;
while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped
to deal with a world that no longer exists."
— Eric Hoffer
News report from May 28, 2019. Video courtesy of Action News Now.
The Rainforest Art Project is proud to be working with the students, teachers, and staff of Paradise schools to assist them in becoming a highly creative school district.
Although creativity is widely lauded as the most valuable skillset of the twenty-first century, it is by all accounts the most misunderstood and neglected subject in our public schools. Education’s reliance on a stubbornly fixed mindset provides an unprecedented opportunity for Paradise Unified School District to differentiate and distinguish itself through a solid commitment to creativity. Now is a time for boldness….to adopt a tenacious growth mindset and work with creative leaders in business, government and education to imagine the rich possibilities for the students, the schools, and the community of Paradise.
This is an ambitious vision, which begins with the understanding that creative potential is inherent in every human, and especially in children. In order to succeed we will work to better understand and nurture this potential, both individually and collectively.
Creativity is defined as the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.
Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.
Paradise is in great need of these solutions, and through commitment, vision, and creative growth, PUSD students will be instrumental in this rebuilding process.
Starting with small projects, students have already begun these skill-building programs by creating personal objects, such as mosaic mirrors, treasure boxes, and stepping stones. These will help prepare students to participate in the creation of permanent public art installations for their schools and their community. This extraordinary level of student involvement has the proven ability to generate an inestimable sense of pride, accomplishment, and ownership for the participants.
These projects enable every student at every grade level to participate.
Many students with special needs accelerate within this creative environment and thrive as they are recognized for their accomplishments. Creative expression is not only a proven pathway to recovery from trauma but also provides a challenging and positive outlet for students with behavioral issues.
The attached pages will illustrate some of these remarkable creative opportunities. Note that while some projects, such as benches and logos have already begun, others are preliminary sketches, used to engage students in the design process. Final presentation art will be the result of student collaboration with teachers and design professionals. Through creativity and teamwork, these projects can involve every grade level and every subject, from math and science to reading and history, eliminating many traditional barriers and inspiring a culture of lifelong learning.