Loop It Up
We are so excited to be continuing our Looping Literacy Together program, which has reached more than 800 young scholars this semester!
This fall we are doing two units based on the ever-popular Eric Carle books “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Little Cloud.” The curriculum focuses on:
Looping Literacy Together is a literacy and arts integration program supporting Pre-K and kindergarten students with early literacy and comprehension skills, as well as fine motor and creative thinking through a series of creative and hands-on activities based on beloved children’s books and stories. This semester alone, we have taught more than 400 sessions at these schools:
Although the Looping Literacy Together program is now taught all over Chatham County, it first began in 2019 at Brock Elementary School in a creative collaboration with Principal Selina Ruth-Gillians and the Metro Savannah Rotary Club. We are so thrilled this program has now grown to reach other schools and more students -- while continuing to serve the students at Brock.
With the return to in-person learning this school year, we have found our Mindfulness Zone program to be more important and impactful than ever as students, families, and teachers settle back into face-to-face instruction.
And we are so happy to welcome Ashley Kendrick to team Loop It Up as our Mindfulness Zone program coordinator! Ashley relocated to Savannah from Annapolis, Maryland, in 2013 after graduating with her MBA, with the goal of cultivating a life founded on community collaboration, activism, and sustainability. Having found yoga many years prior, and shortly after becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher, Ashley has made it her life’s work to make yoga more diverse, inclusive, understandable, and accessible. Ashley says she is passionate about working with kids in a trauma-sensitive environment, which brought her to the Mindfulness Zone program in August of this year.
The Mindfulness Zone program combines yoga, mindfulness techniques, and art to give students tools for unpacking, processing, and expressing their feelings and experiences in a healthy, safe, and respectful way. We have dedicated Mindfulness Zone spaces at Gadsden Elementary, Brock Elementary, and Juliette Gordon Low Elementary schools that provide a quiet and calming environment for students. There, they learn skills such as breathing techniques, visualization, and drawing to help them realize they have the tools they need to navigate life’s challenges.
Mindfulness Zone began in 2019 at Juliette Low Elementary in collaboration with Principal Tahisha Wright and the student support team. The program has since expanded to include Gadsden Elementary and Brock Elementary and now serves the three schools during the day, as well as all 15 SCCPSS schools in the 21st Century afterschool program.
Seven schools across the county are getting a healthy dose of gardening and STEAM this year, thanks to the new Farm to School program -- a partnership between Loop It Up, Savannah Urban Garden Alliance (SUGA) and Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
Loop It Up is so excited to be part of this Farm to School initiative to build a sustainable school gardening and STEAM program. We are responsible for the STEAM programming related to the garden and use standards-based projects linked to science, art, math and ELA to support student creativity and academic success through cross-curricular learning. So far this fall we have engaged more than 900 Pre-K and elementary students in more than 50 sessions!
Projects within the program so far include:
Loop It Up is thrilled to have Jessica Chaplin-Wynn join the team as the new Farm to School program coordinator! Jessica is from Savannah and graduated from AE Beach High School. She holds a bachelor’s in biology from Savannah State University and a master’s in teaching from Armstrong State University. She says teaching is her passion because it is how we fuel tomorrow’s future!
The Farm to School program is currently underway at seven schools: Brock Elementary, Gould Elementary, Hodge Elementary, Butler Elementary, Heard Elementary, Ellis Montessori Academy and Windsor Forest Elementary; and is funded by a US Department of Agriculture grant received by the SCCPSS School Nutrition Department.
We are so excited to have the opportunity to share units 1-3 of our Mindfulness Zone program with students in ALL 18 of the Savannah Chatham County Public School System schools who are having Embrace Camps next week! Ongoing thanks to Amanda Meyer for dreaming this dream with us! Thank you to the The Print Shop of Savannah, Inc. for continuing to bring our ideas to LIFE and thank you to all of the wonderful agencies who fund this program- United Way of the Coastal Empire City of Savannah Government Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Bank of America International Paper Resilient Georgia Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition we love you and we are grateful for your investment and belief in this project!
The Three Little Pigs illustrated by Zoe! This project was one of many in our Summer Program through 21st Century. Programming will continue through the third week in June .
We were so happy to bring the Book Box Library Project to the Early Learning Center this month. This project is part of our Looping Literacy Together Program. The students decorate wooden crates with characters and scenes from their favorite books, then fill the crates with many books to take home as the first installment in their personal libraries. This beloved project is one of the first we have done in-person in over a year, and was made possible with funding from the City of Savannah Department of Arts and Culture.
After a successful semester delivering Mindfulness Zone @ Home Programming with the support of The City of Savannah Department of Human Resources, Bank of America, Coastal Georgia Indicators Coalition, International Paper, The Downtown Neighborhood Association, Gulfstream, and scores of volunteers, we are looking forward to expanding the program to include early learners, additional schools in the Savannah Chatham County School District, and to schools in other counties in Georgia. We are very excited to launch the next phase in the coming months!
Our partnership with Gadsden Elementary School as they work towards STEAM Certification has been delightful! Here a student is constructing their 3D model of an ice cream parlor after making a 2D design. This collaboration has been monthly during the spring semester of the 2020/21 school year.
WIth the cooperation of community faith leaders, educators, and concerned citizens, we are collaborating to offer safe and supportive learning environments for children during school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many thanks to RISE (Religious Institutions Supporting Education) for providing learning environments and mentors, and to SCAD for donating computers to students in need. Together, our community is making it work.