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We believe the best education has creativity at its heart. Side x Side programs blend academics with art through arts integration. Arts integration provides a framework for exploring and supporting school curriculum that revitalizes teaching, learning and leadership. This approach is naturally engaging and inclusive for all learners.

Side x Side programs cultivate 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and strengthened decision making. We support broader learning environments by melding the expertise of classroom teachers, teaching artists and visiting professionals. We believe students benefit from exploring a variety of professions throughout their K-12 experience.

Creative learning environments promote improvements in student engagement, attendance and academic performance, while elevating school culture and community.

In 2013-14 Side x Side successfully piloted five arts-integrated programs at Reiche Community School and Casco Bay High School.

In 2014-15 Side x Side expanded its model at Reiche Community School to include collaborative programming, professional development, and formal evaluations.  The model was implemented at additional Portland schools in the 2015-16 year.

Currently, Side x Side’s “Project Imagine” programs are running at five Portland public elementary schools: East End Community School, Ocean Avenue Elementary School, Reiche Community School, Riverton Elementary School and Hall Elementary School. Side x Side middle school programs ran for 6th and 8th graders during the 2016-2017 school year at King Middle School.

We believe that academic work generated through creative approaches results in students having a richer understanding of subject matter.