Friday, January 6, 2012

An After School Art Club

I am excited about starting an after school art club for 4th and 5th grade students at my son's school. Art class has been cut from the elementary school curriculum, due to budget cuts, teacher lay offs, and harmful curriculum changes which were unanimously approved by Allentown school board directors. The shortsighted decisions made by our school board have robbed my child, and all ASD children, of a well rounded education. I believe that educational opportunities should be made available to all children, regardless of socio-economic status. Allentown children are being unfairly denied the chance to discover their talents and learn about artists. This sends the message that a quality school art program is a privilege reserved for the wealthy kids. This is unacceptable, unjust, and undermines public education. This is not just an education issue, it's a civil rights issue.

After school clubs, sponsored by the PTA, are a good way to provide arts enrichment to children. My club may only benefit a small number of children (up to 40), but at least it is something. If more people would speak out against educational injustices, we could END the test driven educational policies and corporate driven reforms that are harming our children. We could get back to teaching the whole child. Make children a priority in 2012.

Pictured is 6th grade student work: An expressive still life in oil pastels, Van Gogh style. I plan on doing this type of lesson with my art club.

Please read this post for further information on the value of an art lesson:


Mrs. Dottie said...

Anyone have an electric pencil sharpener I can borrow for Art Club? Due to budget cuts, Dixon Ticonderoga pencils and working pencil sharpeners have now become luxury items. Sad.

Mrs. Dottie said...

A blind student is in my art club. This is a challenge, and I will have to adapt my lessons so they are more focused on tactile experiences. Drawing will be difficult. But torn paper self portraits might work, sculpture with model magic, possibly paper weaving. Wish I had braille pictures of works of art. I will have to describe the images, the colors, shapes, etc. But art is a way of seeing, so visual impairment should not matter. He can visualize with his brain. I am learning a lot from this student. He wants to do what the rest of the kids are doing. Amazing.