The department of Innovation & Agility-Curriculum & Career Education (CCE) continuously supports the various functions of the Elementary Creativity Cart program.
The Elementary Creativity Cart program’s mission is to nurture students’ creativity and resiliency while connecting them to today’s real-world complexities. This platform goes beyond knowledge of next-generation science standards (NGSS) to personalize learning and application of knowledge.
In collaboration with PAUSD’s Elementary Educational Services, AAR’s Elementary Creativity Carts program extends the AAR philosophy to elementary schools by cultivating student skills in design, research, and development of self-advocacy.
Each Creativity Cart is stocked with recycled, engaging materials to nurture student creativity within any given subject or theme while promoting personalized projects that promote the cultivation of skills with respect to design, investigation, and problem-solving. Elementary students who participate in Creativity Carts projects are encouraged to explore a variety of topics at appropriate grade levels. By allowing each student to choose tailored project subjects with general, guiding questions, the program fosters genuine student interests that can be extended to any topic.
The Creativity Carts are also used by the Early Childhood Development (ECD) program, through which high school students in ECD develop and deliver lessons to Transitional Kindergarten and Young Fives classes at Greendell. The AAR Elementary Creativity Carts program is a district-wide opportunity for Palo Alto Unified School District elementary students. The program was piloted at Palo Verde, Addison, Nixon, Briones, Greendell, and El Carmelo during the 2016-2017 school year, and it expanded districtwide in 2017-2018. Through the program, each elementary school receives a cart stocked with materials most relevant to their anticipated activities, and the carts are restocked throughout the year based on the site’s individual needs.
The carts also support the Big Buddy Mentor program as part of the EleMENTORy Partnership. The vision of the EleMENTORy partnerships is to support the buddy mentoring relationship that occurs at sites between the older and younger grades during buddy time. This opportunity allows our older buddy mentors to work with their younger buddies to foster creativity and innovation by utilizing the Creativity Carts.