Engaged Learning Experiences

Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) Curriculum Coaches work with ECM Instructors and teachers to bring Engaged Learning Experiences (ELEs) into K-8th grade classrooms. ELEs are in-school programs custom-tailored to teach state standards utilizing Experiential Learning and Arts Integration. These programs combine the experiences of our curriculum coaches with the expertise of our ECM Instructors. ECM empowers and supports teachers by giving them the tools, confidence, and skill level to successfully integrate the arts and light a spark in every one of their student’s creative and innovative spirits.

ECM Instructor Menu

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A Backpack Journalist

A Backpack Journalist

Photojournalism is our foundation as found in writing, photography and filmmaking -ie Storytelling. New addition. Pantomime, following the Comic Genius of Charlie Chaplin, Making the World Smile Again!

A Taste of Africa & Gullah with Ms. Nina

A Taste of Africa & Gullah with Ms. Nina

Ms Nina is a Gullah Geechie native born in Charleston, SC who specializes in performing arts of West African Dance, songs, Gullah storytelling, African drumming, impactful monologues, fashion, song writing, hip-hop & African & Gullah history & culture. She is a fashion business & management graduate of the Art institute of Charleston who loves to share her art forms w/kids of the lowcountry & surrounding areas.

Addressing Basic Conflict

Addressing Basic Conflict

At Addressing Basic Conflict we use our expertise to provide engaging, fun and exciting lessons that are created to: Build character, critical thinking, communication and mediation skills individually and as a community, Enhance ability to understand and address conflict and make thoughtful choices using evidence based tactics, Foster excitement and encourage compassion with regard to problem solving, Utilize information collected from students to enhance understanding of issues impacting the community-both inside and outside of the classroom., Normalize community and group thinking as a means of resolving problems and achieving goals, Aid children in creating relevant and visual reminders of solutions to common problems, Build a foundation for continued and consistent conflict resolution and problem-solving. We invite you to visit our website addressingbasicconflict.com for more information!

Ann Caldwell: From Africa to the Whitehouse

Ann Caldwell: From Africa to the Whitehouse

Singer, Songwriter and storyteller

Anne G. Sbrocchi, BFA, M.Ed.

Anne G. Sbrocchi, BFA, M.Ed.

Improving student engagement and creative thinking has meant creating opportunities for students to engage in various art forms to help make content standards come alive. In every position I've held, it was tantamount for students to be engaged in projects that fostered critical and analytical thinking for both teachers and students. My creativity, passion, perseverance and knowledge of standards and curriculum design make me an effective change agent.

Annex Dance Company

Annex Dance Company

Annex Dance Company is a professional modern dance company rooted in modern dance tradition while pushing the boundaries of movement invention through relationships and intention. The company's creative process is collaborative and integrative of other art forms and inspirations that inform our work, which is why we love curriculum-based residencies! Using the standards and grade specific curriculum, students will use creative movement to explore dance composition elements such as shape, levels, dynamics, pathways, space, time, and effort. Most experiences will conclude with a dance created by the students in collaboration with the company. Experiences are usually taught by 2-3 Annex Dance Company members allowing for small group, partner, and individual work in class.

Caroline Hoadley Dance and Media Artist

Caroline Hoadley Dance and Media Artist

Over 30 years experience designing custom residencies for your classroom with dance/movement integration and media arts.

Charleston Stage

Charleston Stage

Charleston Stage, in residence at the historic Dock Street Theatre, has been working in arts education for 43 years. We have been ECM artists since day one and love helping teachers and students tackle required curriculum in a new way. Our teachers are all trained theatre performers and arts educators and bring the excitement and energy of a live performance to your classroom.

Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

We are a children's museum dedicated to STEM outreach. We offer virtual STEM lessons and brown bag challenges. We are flexible and would love to work together to find new ways to engage students through exciting hands-on challenges. Kevin Powers, education specialist, has been with the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry since 2011. He is passionate about learning through the power of play! Focus on STEAM and process over product.

Dance Matters

Dance Matters

Dance Matters Charleston is a contemporary dance company with a commitment to cross-disciplinary performances that engage, educate, and inspire audiences of all ages. Integral to the company’s mission is to create work that addresses K-12 curriculum standards ​and tailored ​for dance integrated ​residencies and school performances.

Dave Smith

Dave Smith

Dave Smith lives with his family in West Ashley, and raising his kids is his favorite job. He was a classroom teacher for six years - here in Charleston and in Augusta, GA. He left the classroom to begin delivering entrepreneurship based programs and has been offering ECM classrooms for the past eight years. He is passionate about helping students apply what they learn in school into the real world. He looks forward to working with your classroom this year!

Digicat Coding

Digitcat Coding

Paige Hetherington L.Ac graduated from The Iron Yard with a focus in Java Engineering. An inspiration to dissolve stereotypes around computer programming led her to create coding courses that encourage children to explore tech. Learning is a discovery of coding and software applications coupled with creativity.

Eye Opener with The Gibbes Museum of Art

Eye Opener with The Gibbes Museum of Art

The Gibbes Museum enhances lives through art by engaging people of every background and experience with art and artists of enduring quality, by collecting and preserving art that touches Charleston, and by providing opportunities to learn, to discover, to enjoy, and to be inspired by the creative process.

Fallon Peper

Fallon Peper

Fallon is a former CCSD 1st grade teacher with 7 years experience integrating the arts. As a full time oil painter and extensive background in education, she has the skills and passion to help bring subjects to life through the visual arts. Planning and preparation, organization, classroom management and engagement come natural to Fallon and she is eager to continue making a difference in the lives of our youth through the power of art.

Gina Bean

Gina Bean

Use 3D forms, including models and puppetry, to integrate virtually ANY academic standard to make learning interactive and memorable for all grade levels.

Gracie & Lacy

Gracie & Lacy

Gracie & Lacy present “infotainment” educational experiences that highlight SC Standards in Social Studies, Language Arts, and Performing Arts. They are a national touring sister act from St. Louis, MO specializing in vocal harmony, tap dancing, and the history of American popular music. Together the sisters have co-directed over 50 stage productions, making the arts accessible for all, an endeavor for which they were recognized with a Missouri Senatorial Resolution. The sisters’ mission is to uplift, inspire, and bridge the generations.

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a non-collecting contemporary art museum at the College of Charleston. Our mission is to create meaningful interactions between adventurous artists and diverse communities within a context that emphasizes the historical, social, and cultural importance of the art of our time. The Halsey Institute provides structured guided tours of our exhibitions and educational outreach to the general public, with a focus on K-12 schools, after-school programs, and community organizations.

History Comes to Life

History Comes to Life

Rose Atterberry who is a resident of Charleston SC for ten years, working under Queen Atterberry Wose of Charleston, manager,dance, songs, live history at Magnolia plantation, Creative Minds, churches.

Julian Simmons: Becoming a Published Writer

Julian Simmons: Becoming a Published Writer

Julian is an award winning published author. He has worked in the Publishing industry for over 14 years and is a Charleston-native and graduate from the College of Charleston. He is a former recording artist and has performed at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall. In his spare time, Julian enjoys writing stories with his three kids, wife, and their pet rabbit.

Kids Make Comics

Kids Make Comics

Dave McDonald has built a career as a comics creator and accredited teaching artist based on an award-winning background in television, theme park entertainment and puppetry. He offers education-based programming to schools, museums and libraries through several state and local arts councils in North & South Carolina. He is also a kids cartooning instructor through his online “Kids Make Comics!” video series, featured on Youtube the educational online platform Epic!.

Lisa Trott: Arts + Academics = Love of Learning

Lisa Trott: Arts + Academics = Love of Learning

Lisa Trott, 2013 CCSD Teacher of the Year, is a recently retired veteran elementary teacher who has dedicated her career to developing arts-integrated learning experiences for her students. Lisa fervently believes that providing creative paths for students results in deeper meaning and understanding. Within each learning experience, students will merge academics with the arts in a multitude of forms such as music, visual arts, dancing...you name it, we’ll do it!!

Lorna Roberts

Lorna Roberts

Singer, Songwriter

Marielana Martinez

Marielana Martinez

Arts integration…Discover, Create, Integrate and Transform! Let’s make some powerful connections…through ART! Teaching within the scope of an art concept adds complexity and a higher level of thinking without adding difficulty. As well as being a perfect medium for student learning differentiation. Learning concepts through the arts facilitates and encourages imagination, curiosity and critical thinking. Learning through art makes classroom content more accessible; it engages all students, allowing them to take risks and discover the material in a fun and effective way.

Minerva T. King

Minerva T. King

A Charleston native, I was educated in the public schools here and received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Lincoln University in Missouri.I received the Master's Degree in Library Science from Case western Reserve University in Ohio. I use storytelling to educate as well as entertain and have been on the SC Arts Commission's Arts in education Roster since 1992, telling African, African-American, Jewish, Native American and West Indian stories.

Out of Wonder with Marjory Wentworth

Out of Wonder with Marjory Wentworth

MARJORY WENTWORTH served as poet laureate of South Carolina from 2003-2020. She has taught poetry in dozens of schools as an artist-in-residence, and she is a former public school creative writing teacher. She teaches courses in writing, social justice, and banned books at The College of Charleston. Wentworth is co-author, with Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley, of the New York Times best seller Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets. She is the author of four collections of poetry, two non-fiction books, and the award-winning children’s story Shackles. Ms. Wentworth is a former public-school teacher. For further information please visit her website: www.marjorywentworth.net

Rosemary Dillon

Rosemary Dillon

I am a local Charleston artist and I work in afterschool and summer programs in the city. I love working with recycled cardboard and found materials to create large sculptures. I also work with clay and teach hand built potter to all ages. Some of the team creations we have made include a 6 ft. Elephant, a 9 ft Charleston style rowhouse, a 10 ft. rollercoaster and topical landform maps. I introduce my students to the concept of building a foundation and a structure as a basis for constructing any project.

STEAM Circus

STEAM Circus

Using circus skills to enhance school curricula, the STEAM Circus delivers unique lessons for all standards. From forces and motion to reading anchors to colors to body movement, to graphing, to Newtonian vocabulary, the STEAM Circus also benefits and boosts self confidence and social studies.

South Carolina Slavery History Program with Christine Mitchell

South Carolina Slavery History Program with Christine Mitchell

Over the last 27 years, I have worked as a museum history interpreter of African American history and planned student programs. For the last seven years, I have been a history interpreter at the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston. My interpretation experience also includes McLeod Plantation on James Island, SC.

The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum has been offering outreach programming to local students for over 100 years. With our large and varied collections we can offer exciting experiences for all ages covering a wide range of topics. From mummies to mammals to people that made history we work with you to develop programs that bring to life the classroom curriculum.

The History and Science of Natural Dyes and Indigo

The History and Science of Natural Dyes and Indigo

Kristy Bishop is a fiber artist with expertise in natural dyes, indigo, weaving, and textile surface design. She has been a partner with ECM since 2014. Living and working in Charleston, Kristy spends much of her time teaching fiber techniques to students in public schools, adult workshops, and summer camps. In addition to ECM, Kristy partners with the Charleston Museum, McClellanville Arts Council, and the Gibbes Museum to facilitate workshops. Kristy has also worked in Equatorial Guinea on the wildlife documentary Monkeys of Bioko, produced by Smithsonian channel. Beginning in 2020, Kristy Bishop is a Certified Teaching Artist through the South Carolina Arts Commission.

Tonya Williams Theater

Tonya Williams Theater

Tonya S. Williams is an educator and a professional actress & singer. Before joining ECM, Tonya was also a certified Theatre Arts teacher for CCSD and DD2 for several years. Tonya attended College of Charleston and has a BA in Theatre Arts. Total, Tonya has over 15 years experience training and educating children in the arts. When she is not teaching she is performing all over the Low Country, singing and acting. She is an independent recording artist and a Core Ensemble member at PURE Theatre.

Voices on Cloth: Story Quilts

Voices on Cloth: Story Quilts

Peggie L Hartwell, (Quilt Artist) South Carolina Roster # 2509, 2017 Jean Laney Harriet Folk Heritage Award. VOICES ON CLOTH program promotes creative thinking and the concept of art as a Visual Language. The Quilted Conscience program is an arts-based learning experience that fosters intergenerational, cross-cultural bonds working with immigrant/refugee children, ELA programs.