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My 2011-2012 Art Journaling Classes for At-Risk Public School Children


Remember the Art Supply Drive I had in October?  Where I gathered supplies so I could teach art journaling to at-risk public school children?  Well, thanks to many wonderful people (including many of you) it was a big success!  In fact, I received enough supplies that I could teach TWO classrooms of children this year, instead of just one.  This is something I’d wanted to do for years, and am thrilled I was able to expand to a second school this school year.  (The photo above shows just a portion of the art supplies I received!)  Thank you!

Some Stats

I taught one class of 4th graders in Ontario, CA and one class of 4th graders in Santa Ana, CA.  I put together a bag full of supplies for each student, and also gave extra supplies to each classroom teacher for them to pull from and use during the school year.  In addition, I was able to provide the staff each school with some new and/or gently used office supplies that were donated, including copy paper, binders, wire racks, paper clips, and pencils.

Art journaling kits provided: 90 (45 for each class)
Boxes of assorted supplies: 10
Boxes of office supplies:10

Over 60 students received the gift of art and art journaling instruction, and because the teachers received extra kits for new students that may come into their classes even more children will benefit from this program.

Each kit contained the following (and more!):

  • art journal with unlined pages
  • decorative & patterned paper
  • card stock
  • 3 fabric squares
  • 1 doily
  • aluminum foil
  • punchinella (aka sequin waste)
  • four types of joss paper
  • 1 tag
  • mini ink pad
  • paper punch
  • scissors
  • 2 glue sticks
  • ribbon
  • crayons
  • stickers
  • playing cards
  • glassine envelopes
  • cancelled postage stamps


How The Two Classes Went

I taught in Ontario on December 9, 2011, and in Santa Ana on January 13, 2012.  My experience in each class was similar: wonderful!  The kids were curious, excited, and engaged. They were intrigued by the examples of art journaling that I shared (I brought my 13 completed art journals with me), and when they received their art journal kits they were over the moon!

They oohed, aahed, and had a great time looking through the supplies in their kits.  Soon they were busy creating, and they happily worked to complete the two art journal pages I assigned – a “favorite things” page, and a page of collage.  Many also worked on customizing the blank, white front and back covers of their journals.





Similar Materials, Varied & Wonderful Results

One of my favorite things about teaching, aside from nurturing the children’s creativity, self-esteem, and overall educational experience, is seeing the way each child works through the creative process.  Though they all receive the same types of materials, each child has their own style and they invariably use the materials in clever ways that often surprise me.

Art journaling develops their brains and hearts in wonderful ways.  They solve design problems as they execute their artistic ideas, and they develop fine motor skills as they cut, glue, draw, wrap, and punch. They don’t realize this, of course. To them it’s just fun!




Up Next?  Two Art Journal Shows!

I’ll be returning to each classroom at the end of the school year to celebrate the work the children have done with an Art Journal Show.  Parents, other classes, and school administrators will be invited to come and see the art the kids have created, and I can’t wait to see their work.



The teachers, students, and administrators at both schools are so thankful for the instruction and materials, and I certainly couldn’t make this happen on my own.  Thank you to all who donated supplies, gift cards, and funds, and to the three wonderful ladies who helped me assemble the art journal packets.  I’d also like thank my hubby for helping me wrangle boxes, and for helping in many other ways!

I recently received thank you letters from the class I taught last month.  Here are a few excerpts:

Thank you for all the supplies.  I could never afford all of that for our class.  Thank you for the art journals and the art journals lesson.”

You helped me to express my feelings.  And you helped me to cheer up crying sad times.”
T. M

That was the best day of my life.  Thank you for teaching us how to do collage and art.  I loved the stuff you gave us.


Until Next Time…

I’ll be sure to post about the two Art Journal Shows at the end of the school year.  In the meantime I’m accepting donations on a year-round basis, so if you’re inspired to send some art supplies you aren’t using or a gift card, please contact me for my mailing address.  I’ll be teaching art journaling each school year, and would love to teach two classrooms of children (or more!) again next year.  Thank you for your consideration!

Warm regards,

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