Red Clay News
Delaware Art Museum Partners with Warner
The second grade class at Warner Elementary School is learning to enjoy the visual arts. They came to the Delaware Art Museum on December 5th to show their appreciation for the support AT&T has given to the ART is Element-ary Program at the museum.
Warner second graders sat at attention as First Lady, Carla Markell talked about how the arts can be the bright spot in a child’s day and how exposure to the arts can teach children to think out of the box. She thanked representatives from AT&T, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Red Clay Consolidated School District for collaborating to make the partnership a reality. Mike Schweder, President of the AT&T Mid-Atlantic Region, confirmed the ongoing commitment AT&T has made to the arts in Delaware and presented the Delaware Art Museum with a $12,000 check. Showing their gratitude, representatives from Warner’s second grade presented Mike Schweder with a giant thank you card, signed by the class members.
As part of the partnership between Warner and the Art Museum, the second graders regularly tour the museum and work with museum docents to learn how the basic elements of design (line, color, shape and texture) work together as a visual language. While having fun with art, the students develop their talents, increase their confidence and self-esteem, and learn to think critically by making choices about colors, balance, shading and other elements of design. When working in the studio, students learn through a hands-on approach to follow directions and work together. They learn that art presents opportunities for creativity and self-expression.
At the conclusion of the presentation, docents from the museum took small groups to explore the museum and work in the studio. The students learned about the collections in the Delaware Art Museum and participated in a hands-on lesson on colors. Shauna Almondo and Kim Blatz’s second graders were the first group to enter the studio. They discussed the element of color and learned how primary colors mix together to create secondary colors. After a short discussion came the fun part. Each student received a straw, a piece of paper and three dollops of primary colored paint. By blowing through the straw, the students spread the paint and saw firsthand how new colors appeared when the dollops mixed together. Smiles and exclamations of surprise filled the room as the students created their own individual works of art.
Research has shown that involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and concentration. Evidence indicates that kids immersed in the arts do better on academic tests. In addition, art education teaches students to enjoy deeper forms of beauty. Education representatives at the Delaware Art Museum agree and said that they have measured an increase in flexible thinking and problem solving skills from a class’s first through their fifth visit.
Warner’s partnership with the Delaware Art Museum is part of the Warner Arts Alliance Project, a program where professional teaching artists work in tandem with classroom teachers to fuse the arts with curricula. Each grade level is assigned to a different arts organization to explore different areas including music, dance, visual arts and spoken word. Red Clay Supervisor of the Unified Arts, Judith Conway, said this program allows the students at Warner to fully experience the cultural arts. While learning and having fun via the arts, Warner students are reinforcing kinesthetic awareness, critical thinking and creative expression. At Warner Elementary School every child has a unique opportunity to learn about, enjoy and directly participate in the arts.
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