Passion Projects

students learning ViolinA ‘Passion Project’is anything that allows for student curiosity, creativity, and collaborative experiences. According to research for the book, Coming of Age in the Other America, Stefanie DeLuca, Susan Clampet-Lundquist, and Kathryn Edin found that children living in under-resourced areas of the country are more likely to thrive in high school and college when they find a project suited to their interests and curiosity. The book suggests “more opportunities for ‘Passion Projects’ in schools and after-school by investing more in libraries, clubs, and other institutions, and by expanding funding for the arts.”

Drummer and studentsEach of our schools’ Passion Projects provide opportunities for students to engage in the visual arts, music, dance, theater, or sports. Here are some examples of projects at our schools: At KIPP Bloom College Prep, Assistant Principal (and former 8th grade Language Arts teacher) Miguel Rodriguez leads a select group of 5th-8th graders in the creation of two musicals per school year. They have performed in The Lion King, High School Musical, and Annie Jr., exhibiting tremendous talent and dedication as well as beautiful costumes and set design. KIPP Ascend Primary and KIPP One Academy work with the companies M.U.S.I.C. Inc and the Chicago School of Musical Arts to bring orchestral education to groups of students. KIPP Bloom Primary used the Passion Project to create a recording studio within their school so that students can record original songs in their daily music class. Passion Projects allow school leadership to design and implement a plan to bring more creativity and joy to the school day.

Other articles in this issue: