The Arts Bring Teamwork and Creativity to Students
As a volunteer teaching artist registered with the TN Arts Commission Artist Registry, and as a mentor at the alternative school, I began, ten years ago, teaching art classes for high school age at-risk students in Loudon County which then had the state's highest dropout rate. When I moved to Blount County, I learned that art in the schools was non-existent until 2000. As an artist, I know art enriches lives and encourages learning when art is incorporated with the core subjects. So, I approached the alternative school principal, Dr. Moser, asking to teach an art class there.
The red carpet was out! Weekly classes were 2 1/2 hours. At-risk students often have limited reading and math ability. The art projects are devised to incorporate reading directions, planning, measuring, self discipline, teamwork and creativity.
In addition, I serve as a listener and advisor. I give and get hugs. Many of these youth are in foster care, and seldom reside in one place more than 6 months. All have been through the court system. They are, however, very creative! They become MY kids! At the end of one class, a student remarked, "I wish every day could be like this."
Lowe's Home Improvement contributed many materials, and some funding was received from Wal-Mart, Fine Arts Blount, Home Depot and the Loudon County Women's Club. In 2007, I was honored to receive a "Women Who Make a Difference" award from the Chilhowee Women's Club, and a certificate signed by Governor Bredesen. I am enriched and blessed by my students.
Photo of students learning block printing and mat cutting techniques.blog comments powered by Disqus