I toured my daughter’s future kindergarten class last week. In between choking back tears (oh yes, I am serious) I was thrilled to learn that art is still alive and well at the elementary school she will attend next year. From learning projects in the classroom that we observed (like creating lanterns for the Chinese New Year) to a dedicated art class in rotation with music and PE, my girl will get a healthy dose of hands on.
I am 100% an advocate for art in schools. I wholeheartedly believe that exposure to art at a young age leads the way to a lifelong appreciation for beauty. While I am neither a talented artist nor a musician I have dabbled in both over the years and consider myself an active crafter. No art education didn’t lead to a career path for me (or very many of my classmates that I keep up with from my childhood), but it did shape my perspective and desire to create beautiful things with my craft projects. I appreciate and admire art in many forms, and it saddens me that some people are never exposed to its wonder.
From a more practical standpoint, the tactile discovery of working with different mediums to create art is a very real skill for young children. Pushing and pulling on play dough, cutting in circles and straight lines and mixing colors together are all part of learning how the world works.
Art deserves a place in school, both for its beauty and wonder and its practical hands-on learning.
But when budget cuts come down, we all know where funding is cut. That is why it is up to parents to assist teachers in keeping art in the classroom. Since budget is the number one hindrance support often means in the form of monetary and in-kind donations. To help support teachers and provide them with what they really need, Blick Art Materials has created a program called Art Room Aid.
Art Room Aid allows teachers to create a wish list of supplies. Whether teachers are in need of supplies for a specific project or general classroom supplies, they can customize their list what they need. That list can then easily be shared with parents and supporters.
The Art Room Aid program allows parents and supporters to safely donate money toward the project. The teacher can monitor the project’s progress and then use that money (in the form of credit) to purchase needed supplies from Blick Art Materials.
To help support my daughter’s preschool teacher, I asked her to make a wish list of items needed for her class. Then we worked together to create an Art Room Aid project filled with everything from construction paper to googly eyes — everything the teacher needs to finish out the school year with final preparations for getting our students ready to move on to kindergarten (tear!).
Visit the Art Room Aid project we set up for my daughter’s class to see how it all works. (Feel free to leave a donation if you are so inclined – wink, wink.)
If you are an advocate of art in the classroom like I am, I check out Art Room Aid. Setting up a project is free, and teachers can be up and running with a project quickly. It is a fantastic resource for parents to share with teachers to help them refill supplies for the second half of the school year.
This post is brought to you by Blick Art Materials and TheMotherhood, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.