SARASOTA, Fla. (June 16, 2017) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Center for the Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) is now Florida’s official – and permanent – resource for arts-integrated instruction.
Last spring, Florida lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott provided the Center with an expanded statewide role and designated it as The Florida Center for the Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
This week, that designation was made permanent in the education bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott.
Interim Regional Chancellor of USFSM Dr. Terry Osborn applauded the work of the Center, saying, “Arts-integrated teaching is cutting-edge and evidence-based. It helps teachers to motivate students for success and is a testimony to the arts organizations in our community who have been valuable in supporting this initiative and our university.”
When given the statewide designation last year, the Center agreed to partner with educational institutions across Florida to provide instruction in arts-integrated training and to help them implement their own arts-integrated programs.
In receiving this permanent designation, the Center takes the next step in its evolution.
“I am glad the governor recognized USF Sarasota-Manatee’s leadership in arts-integrated instruction by approving the Center,” said state Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. “This is another example of USFSM’s value to our local community and I am hopeful going forward that it will continue to be respected in Tallahassee.”
State Rep. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, also a supporter of the Center, thanked Scott for signing the education bill into law and approving the Center’s permanent designation.
“The Sarasota-Manatee area, with its arts-rich culture, is an ideal location for the statewide Center,” he said. “As a USF alum, I am proud that our local campus is being recognized as a leader in arts-integrated teaching.”
Arts-integrated instruction is a teaching method in which the arts are woven into academic lessons to help students understand and retain academic material. Studies show that students’ comprehension significantly improves when classroom lessons are combined with the arts.
USF Sarasota-Manatee, a pioneer in arts-integrated instruction, launched the Center for Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching in 2012 after Dr. Osborn, then dean of the College of Education, advanced the instructional emphasis in 2011.
The Sarasota-Manatee area, with its arts-rich culture, proved to be a well-suited location to launch the program. Based at USFSM’s campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, the center now partners with several cultural organizations, including the Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Ballet, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Venice Symphony, South Florida Museum and the Circus Arts Conservatory.
Over the past few years, as the Center’s partnerships grew and arts-integrated programs expanded across USFSM’s service area, supporters suggested replicating the effort on a statewide level. Discussions with local legislators commenced and in the 2016 legislative session, language was added to the state budget to create the new Florida Center for the Partnership for Arts-Integrated Teaching.
However, through the state’s action, the Center’s mission has expanded to schools and districts across Florida, and not only to public schools but to charter and private schools as well.
Additionally, students enrolled in USFSM’s School of Education will continue to learn about arts-integrated instruction, along with other forms of teaching, as they work toward their degrees.
On a general level, the Center’s purpose is to increase knowledge and research of arts-integrated instruction, provide analysis of arts-integrated programs statewide and to partner with arts and educational organizations to introduce arts-integrated programs to more Florida schools.