The Duval County Public School district, under the new leadership of Dr. Vitti, is putting into practice his belief in the concept of the “whole child”. This means that children need exposure to experiences outside of their core curriculum. With an advisory board consisting of DCPS staff, cultural leaders, and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, they developed a STEAM Cultural Passport. STEAM is an outgrowth of STEM, a curriculum that focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to produce a more highly trained workforce. Over the years, teachers of this curriculum realized that an important area that fostered critical thinking and creativity was missing, the Arts, and STEM became STEAM.
For the 2013-2014 school year, this DCPS program funds three cultural field trips for the every child in the district’s 60 Title I schools. Ten cultural partners across the STEAM curriculum include The Cummer, MOCA, MOSH, the Jacksonville Zoo, the Jacksonville Symphony, Theatre Jacksonville, and more. Each cultural partner was assigned three grades. At The Cummer’s we will be serving First, Third, and Fifth Grade. Our STEAM students have already begun to visit this year, and The Cummer looks forward to the success of this new program.