Taking Imaginative Leaps with the Arts Resource Grant Program
Funded by the Westly Foundation, PVF’s Arts Resource Grant Program provides grants of up to $500 to teachers in select low-income Peninsula school districts to be used for arts-related learning. Arts education is important for our students because it allows them to express themselves creatively as well as eliminate any cultural or linguistic barriers. As a flexible program, these grants allow K-8 public school teachers the ability to inject creativity into their classrooms, from basic art supplies to field trips and musical instruments to theater performances.
Below is an excerpt we have received from Ms.Preston at Encinal Elementary in Atherton:
My grant was to help give my students art supplies will that integrate visual art into writing. This project proposes art lessons that integrate visual art into writing. The lessons are designed to enhance creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities as well as improve their writing skills. Rather than encouraging one right answer, integrating art into the curriculum both encourages multiple outcomes and reaches the diversity of students in the classroom. By creating lessons that combine disciplines, students are given art projects that encourage them to take imaginative leaps and envision new possibilities. Students will study different periods of history and create a piece of art reflecting the historical period as well as a writing piece.
After our first project, the students were excited when we were starting a new writing piece. They would always ask if there would be another art piece to go along with their writing. Throughout the year, we were able to write many different essays, and each student created their own mission book and pastel mission drawing. We also created a mission mural where each student contributed one piece of canvas to the overall project. As we discussed mindset, we thought about how it impacted our lives and wrote about the importance of mindset in learning. After writing and then brainstorming, we created our own mindset boards. The visiting artist was helpful in teaching the students about colors, blending colors, and the correct use of paintbrushes. For a few of my students, it was inspiring to talk with an artist since that is what they are interested in pursuing.
The supplies that were granted to us by The Westley Foundation made a difference in my student’s educational lives. Without their support, we couldn’t have created these wonderful projects and the students wouldn’t have seen how art and writing can be integrated. From the watercolor paper to the canvas, we had all the supplies we needed to create some beautiful art pieces. The smiles on my students after completing the writing and the art is priceless. Their parents were surprised to see how beautiful their art turned out and how it connected to their writing.
Again, a most sincere thank you to the Westley Foundation for providing me with an opportunity to apply for this grant. We are forever grateful.