Arts in Learning





Drawing on an iPad


Fun at Riebli




Photos at the gallery


Student art


Creativity is fundamental to the learning process, and by introducing creative expression at an early age we instill imagination, self-determination, communication, collaboration, and a sense of accomplishment in our children. Three of ArtThread’s pARTnerships focus on providing art-based tools for success in school and life.


The First Years

ArtThread understands the role of healthy creative expression in very young children. Families with special needs children are at increased risk for stress and maltreatment, and we believe ArtThread technology and training can make a measurable difference. With our pARTner the Early Learning Institute (ELI) of Sonoma County we are investigating the use of ArtThread training and our “no fail” art making tools in play therapy.

This ELI pARTnership enhances their Tech n’ Tots program, a technology and creativity-focused support program designed to expand and enhance children’s access to play, communication and ultimately their social connections through the use of high tech devices, including iPads, smartphones, and computers. The goal of this data-driven project is to use art and creative expression to offer a means of positive self expression and interactivity for parents and children.

“It is critically important to help them believe in the self-agency of their child and to support them in viewing their child as someone who will make his or her mark on the world,” said Michelle Rogers, Executive Director of ELI. “ArtThread is a concrete way to highlight how creative and expressive any child can be when given the right tools.”

The field staff at ELI is using ArtThread tools with 600 young children and their families, and together they have created hundreds of pieces of art that reflect this shared experience and demonstrate the growth of both the program and the creative process for the kids.


Getting Started in School

We are aware that the arts and creativity are being de-prioritized within the classroom. With the help of ArtThread technology and training and this elite team of dedicated teachers at Riebli Elementary School, we aim to refine and implement evidence-based practices that link creativity and art to more effective teaching for specific curricula and lessons. ArtThread will help teachers to inspire young students while measurably improving learning standards performance.

Those of us whose lives have been enriched and made whole by the arts understand that “everything that counts cannot always be counted” but in this case the goal of the ArtThread Foundation is to show that art can be counted and counted on to positively impact the educational and emotional skills of students.

Karen Holtman and her team of teachers are using ArtThread’s tools in their classes, working with children in five grade levels and exploring various modes of technology and teaching activities. Data gathering is ongoing and will yield results describing classroom feasibility and acceptance of the ArtThread tools, along with evidence to support specific integration of art-based activities into the curriculum.


Finding Direction During Transitions

ArtThread is proud to be working with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Clinical Art Therapy department. Art therapists were trained as part of the Work of Art program that ArtThread provided to Florida’s Project 10: Transition Education Network. Work of Art fosters creative expression, teaches technology and graphics, builds community and connections, offers positive therapeutic activity to help counteract negative behavior, and leads to student empowerment and sense of accomplishment. The Project 10/ArtThread Gallery is available to transitioning students with disabilities in all 67 Florida schools districts.

The art therapists in Miami-Dade county integrated the Work of Art program as an intervention within their art therapy program, and their students have become experts in using Splash!, ArtThread’s online, no-fail, big-fun art-making tool. The work of these students has been displayed at the Frost Museum in Miami as part of their “ARTWorks” exhibit. This innovative art therapy program is one of the most comprehensive art therapy departments in the country and serves students participating in programs for emotional and behavioral disabilities.