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Cityside at Wheeler – Interdisciplinary Learning for Tomorrow’s Citizen Stakeholders

With a home base at the WaterFire Arts Center, Cityside at Wheeler faculty and 8th-grade students work in Providence’s 25 neighborhoods to craft a rich curriculum for civic engagement, project-based learning, inquiry, and research. Cityside supports Wheeler students in their exploration of interests as they form meaningful partnerships with collaborating organizations including Providence artists, activists, local business owners, environmental experts and city officials, to develop projects of relevance to the student, to create value for the community, and to leave a positive impact on the city and student.

Wheeler School students with Cityside Director Joe Baer in Providence’s Memorial Park.

Asking Essential Questions — the core to the Cityside experience for students

  • What are my duties as a global and local citizen and how can familiarity with place help fulfill those duties?
  • Why are cities like Providence, presently and in the future, a perfect lab for studying our greatest successes and failings as a society?
  • What temperament and skills are vital in order to flourish in a rapidly changing world?

“The staff and board of WaterFire Providence could not be more excited that the WaterFire Arts Center will be the “home base” for The Wheeler School’s new 8th-grade Cityside program,” ​said Peter A. Mello, Managing Director/coCEO​. “This innovative educational program will take place across Providence’s 25 neighborhoods serving a wide variety of organizations and will create powerful learning experiences for students in the process. We look forward to not only hosting Cityside but also actively engaging with students throughout the year as they develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the people and places of Providence.”

In announcing the Wheeler/WaterFire classroom, ​Allison Gaines Pell, Head of Wheeler School,​ said, ​”When we began speaking about this collaboration, the mutual excitement was palpable. WaterFire and Wheeler are both committed to exciting, engaging and provoking the region’s young people to look at new ideas, see the world from other perspectives, and use their strengths to find and solve problems in our communities. We know this is part of a great education in a dynamic city. We’re delighted to extend where and how learning happens with this new partnership.”

Wheeler School students visit the WaterFire Arts Center with WaterFire Providence Managing Director Peter Mello, Cityside Director Joe Baer, and WaterFire Providence Executive Artistic Director Barnaby Evans.

Learn more about Cityside at Wheeler or how your organization might become involved!

Contact: Joe Baer, Cityside Director
(401) 421-8100 [email protected]