PACE Online Launched by Acadiana Center for the Arts

At home with the kids? AcA launches daily activities for grades K-2 to keep up with missed classes.

LAFAYETTE​—In response to the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent school closures, Acadiana Center for the Arts is taking one of its most distinguished in-school programs and adapting it for remote learning. PACE Online is targeted at Elementary level students, and each video is free and led by a professional AcA teaching artist.

With schools closed across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and most people sticking very close to home, suddenly parents are confronted with the prospect of keeping their kids occupied, day in and day out.

AcA launched PACE Online on Monday through its YouTube Channel and adds three new classes each day featuring visual arts and movement-based activities for grades K-2. These lessons are available to all through support of the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Office of the Lt. Governor.

Since PACE Online is free to the public, AcA is seeking donations to support the continuation of the program on ​its website.​

“The lessons are designed with young learners in mind,” says Bree Sargent, AcA’s education director. “It’s amazing to see how children respond to learning when given the opportunity to do it by moving and creating. Our awesome team of teaching artists responded to this project with enthusiasm and jumped right in, rethinking their lessons to accommodate for time and materials.”

Repurpose that junk mail for a collage, or clear some space for a movement class. All PACE Online classes are tailored to be done at home with only basic materials and supervision.

“In PACE classes, our teaching artists make learning come alive for students,” says Samuel Oliver, AcA’s executive director. “AcA’s Education Director Bree Sargent saw this need and responded to it swiftly and with great effect. We are receiving views and gratitude from parents as far away as the UK and Canada—not to mention from all around Lafayette Parish.”

Each lesson focuses on a grade-appropriate subject in either Science, Social Studies, Math, or English Language Arts and is taught through an art or movement activity.

Arts Integration, the teaching strategy employed by the PACE program, is a research-based method of teaching and has been used in classrooms for more than 30 years. It is grounded in solid pedagogy and numerous studies have supported its effectiveness.

When schools are in session, AcA’s PACE program (Primary Academic Creative Experiences) assists schools in teaching the arts and teaching other academic subject areas through the arts.

AcA’s team of teaching artists provide lessons in 184 PreK-3 classrooms each week. These artists conduct “arts-integrated”classes that advance Louisiana State Standards in Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, and English Language Arts through engaging activities rooted in visual art and creative movement. PACE is based on the idea that children learn in a wide variety of ways, such as listening, speaking, acting, moving and creating. PACE classes are demonstrated to engage students in core subject areas through these different ways of learning and improve overall academic performance.

The PACE program was started by AcA and Lafayette Parish School System in 1999 to assist schools in establishing instruction that richly integrates the arts.​ The program was designed to help schools establish a learning environment filled with creativity and self-expression.

Classroom teachers play an active role in developing the lessons with the teaching artists. Each teacher provides the grade level information necessary for the teaching artist to design arts activities that focus on common thematic units and support existing classroom instruction.

About Acadiana Center for the Arts

As the community leader in arts and culture, the Acadiana Center for the Arts serves to bring world-class arts experiences to the people of Acadiana through many approaches including holding public concerts, presenting art exhibitions, providing grants to artists and cultural organizations, and bringing artists into schools across the region.


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