Bookmaking and Confidence Building
by Cayman Bentley, PVF’s Program and Communications Associate
PVF recently made a Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant to Westlake Middle School in Oakland, which helped to fund a creative writing, bookmaking, and publishing course done in partnership with Chapter 510. PVF has been the proud fiscal sponsor for Chapter 510 since they launched in 2014. They’ve quickly grew to become a well-known Oakland nonprofit with a big vision: “We want every young person in Oakland to write with confidence and joy.”
Through the Visiting Artist in the Classroom Grant program, PVF was happy to provide $500 for students to learn about various forms of writing, bookmaking, letterpress printing, and screen printing with the goal of writing their own stories that will be published into a perfect bound and illustrated anthology by the end of the year.
This course, which had students meet three times a week, was co-desgined by Chapter 510 lead teaching artist Duane Horton, Westlake English Language Arts Coach Jen Joyce and book artist Anna Kingsley, included scholars who each lived in a household where English was not the primary language. Each scholar was nearing fluency in English, and were preparing to take a State mandated exam to become “reclassified” as English Language Proficient (ELP). Research shows that students who are reclassified as ELP have better academic outcomes over time, partly because the school system doesn’t then exclude them from enrolling in increasingly demanding courses, including Advanced Placement classes once they reach high school.
“There were many benefits to working with visual arts to express and make meaning. Students who were often “silent” in other classes, enjoyed being vocal and hands on. We learned this from their teacher. They were more engaged in a making environment. We are excited to bring this special arts activity to a wonderful school that cares about arts integration.” – Janet Heller, Chapter 510 Executive Director.
The Visiting Artist Grant is made possible by the Geballe Family.