Belle Glade (Palm Beach) Residency Program

Artist Residency Program (Arts Integration) – specifically for Rural Economically Disadvantaged Initiative (REDI) county and/or communities.


The Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) through a grant from National Endowment for the Arts via the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs to implement an artist residency program that will support the Florida Campaign for Grade Level Reading in four (4) REDI/underserved communities in Palm Beach County: Belle Glade; Pahokee; South Bay; and Canal Point. These communities have a total of 35 early learning providers who serve over 1,000 children, caregivers, and families. They include the traditional preschool setting as well as home-based, migrant, and faith-based. Providers and their educators will work with Master Teaching Artists and receive professional development and in-classroom modeling; students will receive hands on learning experiences; and caregivers and families will be provided with resources and experiences in building literacy through the arts with their children.

FAAE has assembled an incredibly strong, regional team to implement this project. The Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County has agreed to assist with engaging and recruiting early learning providers. In addition, the Palm Beach State College has arranged for the classroom setting, recruiting of participants, and providing college credit. FAAE is working with the Broward County Cultural Division, Florida Children’s Theatre, and the School Board of Broward County to launch the Florida Center for Arts Integration. This coalition is already a leader in Broward County’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading, which includes Children’s Services Council of Broward County and the Early Learning Coalition. Broward’s Campaign for Grade Level Reading also includes artist residencies that professional development, classroom modeling and student and parent engagement for over 80 early learning centers as well as VPK and Headstart. These residencies employ Master Teaching Artists who serve as faculty of the Florida Center for Arts Integration. Representatives from these agencies and the Master Teaching Artists have agreed to support and contribute to this proposed project.

Goal & Objectives

The goal of this grant is to create an atmosphere where children learn the love of reading via arts integrated lessons and activities in the preschool classroom and at home.

Our objectives are to:

  • Provide interactive experiences for caregivers and families in arts integration activities that support literacy and can be replicated at home.
  • Train Early Learning Classroom Teachers to use the arts, integrated with early learning reading skills, for more successful reading outcomes in the primary classroom.
  • Train local Emerging Teaching Artists the skills they need to deliver quality academic and artistic lesson or activity.
  • Train the caregivers of preschool children the skills they need to further engage the children in reading and an arts integrated lesson or activity.
  • Train three Advanced Teaching Artists to reach their goal of becoming Master Teaching Artists, so that they might add to the number of Teaching Artists available for high quality arts integrated lessons and activities in the education system and the greater community.

Master Teaching Artists

Storyteller Carrie Sue Ayvar

Pablo Picasso once said “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Carrie Sue feels that her gift is to entertain, educate and perpetuate the oral tradition of storytelling connecting people and their cultures through stories in Spanish & English. She believes that, by becoming aware of one another’s stories, people learn to more easily accept one another. As her Grandpa Nat, a Talmudic Scholar, taught her, “It is hard to hate someone whose story you know.”

Storytelling is not just what she does but who she is. Whether she is speaking to a conference of business people, to educators or children, in a school cafetorium or on a festival stage, Carrie Sue endeavors to create opportunities for each listener to learn and grow. New ideas and perspectives are the seeds she sows. Once, after a performance, a young boy came up to her and said, “Thank you for painting those pictures in my mind.” Carrie Sue is eternally grateful to have found her gift and hopes to be able to share it with you.

Janet Erlick, Executive Artistic Director, Florida Children’s Theatre

Janet is the Executive Artistic Director of award‐winning Florida Children’s Theatre where she oversees both the administrative and artistic components of the theatre. She teaches, directs, and acts in the community and developed the theatre’s comprehensive outreach program that now serves over 25,000 people each year. That program includes A Bridge From Me to You, an anti‐bullying and conflict resolution program and From Page to Stage, an in‐school literacy and arts integration program. She created partnerships with many cultural and social service organizations throughout South Florida and frequently facilitates workshops throughout the Southeast region. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Broward County Cultural Executives Committee and is a member of the Broward Cultural Council and Broward Women’s Alliance.

She is a graduate of Leadership Broward and is active on many of their committees. A former recipient of the City of Hope Businesswoman of the Year Award, Janet also received the Remy Service Award from South Florida Theatre League and was an honoree of Spring for the Arts among many other awards. She is one of only two master teaching artists endorsed by the South Florida Cultural Consortium, and recently designed and implemented a pilot certification for teaching artists through the Consortium and Arts for Learning in Miami and is working with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a double major in Theatre and Psychology, and i currently President of their Alumni Council.



Wiggle Waggle

Jack and Jill

Three Bears

Piggy Prep

The Pig Says Oink

Play the Drum

The Wolf

What's in the Box

This is in the Box