Education Flow was founded by Laura and Patrick Cerria. We are a 501 3C organization dedicated to helping public, private, and charter schools in their teaching strategies and protocols regarding classified and/or students with special needs - as well as those typically developing.
We are rooted in over fifteen years of teaching experience, research, and practice - and are dedicated not only to helping students, but also teachers, therapists, aids, para-professionals, and administrators. Our goal is to help implement creative ideas that will help educators introduce creative strategies to better serve the developmentally, socially, emotionally, and economically diverse students they now teach. We help with:
It all began in 2003 When Patrick began his studies in Eurhythmics at The Juilliard School in New York City. In addition to his Eurhythmics studies, Patrick was teaching his own early childhood music program, TumbleJam(TM) in his New Jersey based studio. One day the mother of a 4 year-old boy came and told Patrick about her son who had a diagnosis of PDD-NOS. She explained how her son loved music, but other programs she'd tried didn't seem to understand her son's classification. She and her son attended one of Patrick's classes the next day and her son not only ended up loving it, but thriving.
Before long, TumbleJam began gaining recognition within the special needs community and Patrick was soon approached by a group of occupational, physical, and speech therapists about working together. It was during this three year period - working with therapists and studying Eurhythmics - that Patrick began to recognize the power of Eurhythmics in working with all kinds of students.
Patrick has spent the last eighteen years using his Eurhythmics based techniques to teach varied populations of students. He was awarded the Dalcroze Elementary Teaching Certificate from Juilliard. TumbleJam received an award of recognition from a local hospital's pediatric occupational therapy department. Patrick is currently in the next phase of his Dalcroze studies at the Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the music teacher in a public district that provides special and alternative education services and teachers in three schools each serving varied populations: Students on the Autism spectrum; those with developmental and/or physical disabilities; at-risk students with behavioral and/or emotional classifications.
Patrick has presented staff development workshops throughout New Jersey as well as the mid-west, and he published his first book this fall. The book, Finding the Flow: How Dalcroze Eurhythmics and a New Approach to Music Education Can Improve Public Schools, is available on Amazon.
Education Flow was created to bring Eurhythmics based strategies and research into public schools and help them teach the dynamic students that now comprise our public school populations. This type of creative and innovative work is even more essential in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 14% of the American public school population is comprised of students who require special education services. That means roughly 7.1 million students report to school every day who require specific therapies and/or programming. To put a visual on that: The overall population of Rhode Island is 1.1. million people. We could populate that state seven times over solely with the number of special needs students who attend school every day.
In addition to the above populations, more students are coming to school out of poverty. According to the Children's Defense Fund, one in every six American children live in poverty - more than 11 million nationwide. Emerging medical as well as scientific research is showing how the stress of poverty affects children's neurological, cognitive, social and emotional development. The level of poverty will undoubtedly increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were significant rises in anxiety, depression, and behavioral classifications in American school students. A study the CDC conducted on neurological based disabilities in American children sheds some light on this:
(Again, these numbers are pre-pandemic)
Our school classrooms are more socially, emotionally, developmentally, economically, and neurologically diverse. As scientific, medical and academic research has become more proficient through medical advance, we have developed better ways to diagnose as well as treat varied disabilities in children. These improved therapies, protocols, and more detailed IEP's has meant increased special needs as well as classified student populations in our schools. Suddenly teaching - which has always been a creative and dynamic profession - requires teachers to be more creative and more dynamic.
Our goal is to help teachers, therapists, and faculty better serve the dynamic students that comprise their classrooms. The work of teaching has evolved and now demands more creative approaches.
Our first step is to come into your school - or schools - and get to know the teachers themselves. We talk to them about the students in their classes and discuss any issues they may be having. What types of students are in your class? Are you a mainstream classroom or an inclusion room? Are you a self contained room? Are there student IEP's? What types of classifications are your working with?
Once information is gathered and a relationship is established, we remind all teachers, and aids that they are highly creative individuals. We remind them how learning is a playful and enjoyable process (yes, even for middle and high school students) and we do this by first playing Eurhythmics games with teachers, faculty, and staff themselves. Games are a great way to not only relax staff, but begin to open them up to their own ideas as well as joy of learning.
Our next area of focus is to help teachers create a healthy classroom dynamic. We take the information we gathered on their students and use it to come up with creative strategies that will help address specific student goals. The ability to take a classroom full of diverse students and get them to come together can be a daunting task. We use the momentum from our introductory games and take it a step further by demonstrating related games and exercises that not only allow teachers to build a healthy class, but also allow teachers further insight into student's personalities, and character traits - all important to the process. Many of our games are designed specifically to help teachers understand their students better. We then use them as a launching pad to help teachers begin creating games and/or lesson plans on their own.
While Eurhythmics is widely regarded as a method to teach music, we see it as a one to help all educators. It, like the students in today's classrooms, is dynamic and draws on multiple approaches. Eurhythmics encourages not only physical movement and music, but also improvisation. And while we do work with music educators, we also make ourselves available to all teachers and therapists. We like to think of our sessions as a combination laboratory/art studio/rehearsal space where ideas are conceived and tried out. Our ultimate goal is to provide teachers and staff with strategies that will better serve the developmentally, socially, emotionally, and economically students they now teach.
We are also still engaged in practice and research. We actively seek funding and grant opportunities to help expand our programming and bring it to more teachers, therapists, and entire districts. It is this research and practice, after all, that we believe will ultimately better serve the education community as a whole.
09:00 am – 05:00 pm