Anderson Children's Foundation

Andrew Jackson Elementary School

School Mural (2020-2021)

Around our desert you will see exquisite murals painted on many school walls. These works of art are from a well-known local artist named Keith Blum. We invited him to visit our school and he proposed two beautiful murals on campus. One will be of children from different ethnicities walking in a line and their shadows will reflect careers that await them in the future, the mural will include our mascot A.J. The mural will be magnificent and bold and sends a positive message to students. We promote the message that education is the key to a better future and we believe that this mural will embody the spirit of being College and Career Ready! The mural on the west side of the school will be seen by hundreds of community members for many years to come. The second mural will be at a smaller scale and be positioned in our cafeteria that will showcase A.J. the Dragon standing on a stage surrounded by velvet curtains and the American flag. The mural in the cafeteria is where we currently hold performances/award ceremonies etc. and will serve as a vibrant backdrop for the school community. The placement of the murals are strategic so both children and families can view them daily and feel a sense of pride every time they visit Andrew Jackson Elementary School.

Playworks (2019-2020)

Jackson School is trying to change the culture of play during recess time. All students love recess, but for many students this unstructured time can open the door to poor decisions that lead to student conflicts, arguments, and even fighting on the playground. We have adopted the program Playworks to change the mindset during recess.

The goal is to introduce various structured games that the students lead (Student Playworks Coaches). The noon-yard monitors and staff are no longer "supervising" the students, but instead are actively playing and facilitating the various games with the children. There are games going on in spaces that were previously unused or chaotic. There are fewer kids on the sidelines and everyone has an opportunity to be engaged in structured activities. Through play, kids learn to make friends, solve problems, and believe in themselves, every day!

We are serving over 650 low socioeconomic students and through training and student support we are developing their leadership skills that will transfer into the classroom. Teachers will have more time to spend on instruction and less time mediating conflicts that spill over into their classrooms from recess conflicts. Jackson is leading the pack with our Recess Reboot, and we are certain that once other sites observe how effective this new approach to recess is other schools will follow! Furthermore, our students come from primarily low socioeconomic homes and often parents are working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Consequently, many of our students do not participate in any structured play/sports and spend their free time watching TV or playing video games.

The need and demand for this program is evident to our staff as we observe students out at recess. Playworks will introduce them to a wide variety of games/sports that some of the children may decide to continue participating in as a middle school sport. We are very excited about implementing Playworks at our school. Let the Games Begin!

Musical Instruments Purchase (2018-2019)

This project will serve students at Jackson Elementary. Students from Transitional Kindergarten through 5th grade have been able to benefit from the Music Program. Here at Jackson Elementary, students in the lower grades (TK- 3rd) have music once a week for 40 minutes and the upper grades, 4th and 5th, have music two times a week.

Students at Jackson get to learn the Orff Schulwerk methodology which is engaging and the basic element is creation. Students have a variety of instruments in which they have learned about in the past two years since we started the program. Instruments include: metallophones, xylophones, bass xylophones and metallophones, glockenspiels, and a variety of small percussion hand instruments. Through the use of these instruments, students have learned concepts such as rhythms, melody, dynamics, articulation, and tempo. Students have also been able to work with different educational songs, and dances which have supported the learning that goes on in the classroom. Students have been able to collaborate and work with other students cooperatively in order to create music.

Making M.U.S.I.C. (Musical Understanding Sparks Intellectual Creativity) (2016-2017)

In this program, Transitional Kindergarten through fifth grade students at Jackson Elementary School will work with a music specialist throughout the school year to study instrumental and vocal music with the developmental approach of the Orff Schulwerk methodology. This method emphasizes a "child-centered" approach to learning music; all concepts are learned by "doing." Students will learn how to play the various Orff instruments (glockenspiels, xylophones, chimes, metallophones, timpani, and bass/contrabass bars) and songs by experiencing and participating in a variety of musical lessons and activities. The lessons focus on rhythm, tempo, and the aesthetic qualities of music. Students will sing, play instruments, and dance alone as well as in groups. In a student body with a large English Learner population (65%) and a high level of socioeconomically disadvantaged students (97% qualify for free breakfast/lunch), more time has typically been devoted to reading, writing, and math. The Making M.U.S.I.C. program will allow students to receive quality musical experiences as well, preparing them to join band and choir in high school and beyond.

CLASS, ACT, Art Programs (2013-2014)

The Children’s Language through Art, Science and Social Studies (C.L.A.S.S. A.C.T.) program at Jackson Elementary encourages disadvantaged children to explore their artistic abilities. Classes will visit an art studio once a week to learn about the history and language of art, then create their own art projects that relate to the science and social studies curriculum. The program will also host after-school art workshops for students to explore more artistic possibilities. This year, the program’s main focus is a Tiling project: students will design tiles to decorate a new garden at Jackson Elementary. In addition, selected art projects will be displayed at local businesses and community centers, at the annual Art & Author’s fair, and on the Jackson Elementary website. As these children recognize their own artistic talent, their self-esteem and cultural awareness will increase exponentially