The Miami-Dade County Public Schools Cultural Passport program is an innovative, educational initiative designed to provide students in grades K-12 with a different cultural field experience each school year. In partnership with South Florida’s finest cultural organizations and venues, Cultural Passport ensures equal access to arts and culture for every child, many of whom would not otherwise have this breadth of opportunities.
Since its inception, Cultural Passport has provided more than 400,000 opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning with 43 different cultural institutions throughout the community. Partners include the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami Children’s Museum, Fantasy Theatre Factory, Perez Art Museum Miami, Barnacle Historic State Park, Miami International Film Festival, the Holocaust Memorial, GableStage and many more.
We know that when we tie cultural experiences to the instruction that students are receiving in the classroom, a strong link is formed and real learning occurs. Nothing can capture a child’s imagination and transform their life like a day at the theater or opera.
Through live performances and museum visits, coupled with professional development for teachers and interdisciplinary classroom instruction, students make connections between the arts and their work in the classroom. They develop literacy skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and by the time they graduate, students will have had high-quality learning experiences in and through a wide variety of art forms. Our hope is to inspire a lifelong passion for arts among these young adults, becoming patrons of, and contributors to, the vibrant arts here in our South Florida community.
The M-DCPS Foundation for New Education Initiatives, a participant in Give Miami Day (Nov. 20), funds Cultural Passport through individual and corporate contributions. To learn more about this vibrant program, go to www.giveourstudentstheworld.org/index.html.