I have such exciting things to share, including TWO art journal shows for my 4th grade students, a brand new program video, and an upcoming article about my art journaling program in the Orange County Register! Woo hoo!
First things first – I’m thrilled to report that my 4th grade art journaling students did an excellent job in their journals this year. It was my privilege to attend an Art Jounaling Show in Ontario on May 18th and an Art Journaling Show in Santa Ana on June 8th. The children were super enthusiastic, they created wonderful works of art, and they all thrived in the art journaling “environment”. Please take a peek at our new and improved program video here, which features both photos and video from the school year – including testimonials from participating teachers and one of the school’s principals.
This program allowed the children to develop their creativity, it enriched their academic experience and helped develop language skills, and gave them a positive form of self-expression – one I hope they’ll use in the years to come. Aside from all that, they had a blast! They were excited about working in their journals whether they were working on “free pages” or creating pages related to their school curriculum. And though they all received the same types of supplies, their individuality and distinctive thought processes were clearly visible – each child put their own unique spin on the assignments and used the materials in wonderfully creative ways.
During my recent visits to the schools I spoke to teachers and to one school principal, and I heard similar things from all of them. They confirmed that these students are receiving the benefits I’d hoped for when I taught my first classroom of children back in 2003: art journaling nurtures their creativity and gives them access to art instruction and supplies that aren’t in the schools’ budgets. It gives them a positive way to express their thoughts and feelings, and often provides insight for the school staff to better help nurture a student. It also gives students another way to be successful and to gain confidence at school, since not all students excell academically or athletically. In short, art journaling is making a significant difference in the lives of these young children. Victory!
The students and and school staff were all very enthusiastic and thankful, and I must pass a huge thanks on to all who donated, rooted me on, or both. I can’t do this without your help, and thank each and every person who lent a hand. Whether you spread the word about my Art Supply Drive by re-tweeting, sent me a Michael’s gift card, or sent a box of supplies pulled from your own stash of goodies, you helped provide a wonderful experience to over 65 public school children this school year. Thank you!
By the way, we had some special guests at our Santa Ana Art Journal Show. OC Register reporter Theresa Walker (and photographer Paul) attended the day’s festivities, and they worked diligently to gather facts and photos for an article that’s slated to run in the OC Register on June 30, 2012. Thanks to both Theresa and Paul for their time and effort, and for helping to make the day even more exciting for my Santa Ana students!
I’m already looking forward to the next school year, and hope to return to both Ontario and Santa Ana to teach. I’d love to expand to teach at least three classrooms next year (1 in Ontario, 2 in Santa Ana), and will be crossing my fingers in hopes that future donations will support at least three classrooms. I’ll be launching a new Art Supply Drive in October of this year, but do accept donations year-round, so please contact me now if you’d like to help my 2012 – 2013 students. Thank you for your consideration and support!