Everyday Arts for Special Education
EASE serves students with a diverse range of moderate to severe disabilities and IEPs. Since its inception in 2010, EASE serves over 50,000 students, 1,700 educators and partners closely with underserved schools in New York City and Los Angeles. EASE also provides specialized training and support to education professionals through summer institutes, webinars, and school-based residencies.
The EASE methodology was first made possible through a partnership with District 75 (the largest special education district in the US, housed in NYC) and a Professional Development for Arts Educators grant from the US Department of Education (2008-2011) in support of EASE’s pilot incarnation for students with autism: Communication and Socialization Through the Arts(“CASTA”) . Following this funding cycle, the curriculum expanded to serve the needs of students with a broader range of disabilities and was renamed Everyday Arts for Special Education.
The US Department of Education recognized the significant impact of the program in NYC’s District 75 schools and awarded EASE a $4.6 million dollar Investing in Innovation (i3) Award matched with a $500,000 contribution from National Philanthropic Trust from 2010 through 2015. During this time frame, EASE received several contracts through the John F. Kennedy Center’s Very Special Arts division to provide professional development and school-based coaching sessions throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2012 through 2015. Following the culmination of the i3 iteration, EASE continues to provide programming to NYC’s District 75 and the LAUSD from 2015 through 2019, made possible by another PDAE grant with a focus on incorporating technology for both student and teacher learning.
“EASE has become an integral part of my teaching---EVERYDAY. The EASE activities are easy to modify and adapt according to my students' individual needs. EASE definitely encourages our students to develop their talents to the highest level!”