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Ms. Beecher participated with fourth graders

Art planned for TES curriculum

Staff Report

Since the conclusion of the 2009-2010 school year, the students at Tallassee Elementary School have not had dedicated art instruction in their curriculum. A lack of funding led the to elimination of the art class.

A little over two years ago, the Tallassee Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) formed an art committee in an effort to bring back some art instruction. The committee consists of parents who organize and volunteer their time to provide mini art sessions throughout the school year.

Kristina Pendergrass and Leigh Anne Butler have taught two separate art lessons to third and fourth grade students this school year. The goal of the art lessons has been to expose the students to the basic elements of art and design.

“The first lesson we focused on the element of color,” Butler stated. “We took a hands on approach to showing them how to create a basic color wheel. We mixed and completed an entire color wheel from the three primary colors. It was a great way for the kids to see the colors blend right before their eyes. We later applied what we learned in a painting where the students mixed their own paint colors.”

Kristina Pendergrass instructs students

Last week, students completed art lessons based on the element of line where they used color as a means of emphasis. “It is so rewarding and encouraging to see how the students have responded to the lessons. They are so eager to learn and express themselves in an artistic way,” Butler said. “A lot of times, a student that might have a difficult time learning can really flourish artistically. It helps build self confidence and exposes students to thinking and creating in ways different than general educational subjects.”

Tallassee Elementary School principal, Jose Reyes, has been very instrumental in making time in the schedules to include these mini art lessons. Reyes was excited to announce that after five years a dedicated art instructor is being added to the curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year.

"I'm so thankful to Mr. Reyes, Mrs. Beacher and TES for wholeheartedly supporting this art enrichment opportunity," Pendergrass said. "Mrs. Butler has come up with some excellent lessons to introduce the third and fourth graders to real principles in art, with corresponding fun activities that the students have all enjoyed. It's been a real delight seeing the students get excited about color or line, and especially seeing them get excited about their own artwork! It is my hope that this art instruction will serve as a first step for the kids, opening their eyes to a whole world of possibility in artistic exploration and self-expression."

Beth Noble, a current first grade teacher who taught art at TES from 2006 until 2010 was excited to hear the plans of bringing art back to the curriculum. “Mr. Reyes has a great vision for our school. The students need art and I am so excited.”

Reyes explained the art classes, along with library, computer and a math/science enrichment, are planned to be in a rotation that would allow students to participate in each of the areas for about two weeks each nine weeks.

“One of the things that always has been important to me is the fine arts,” he commented. “I have personally seen how my daughter has used that venue to express herself. I think art brings with it many wonderful characteristics.”

During the recent art lesson, Allison Johnson, a third grade student stated, “Right now we don’t get to do a lot of art in our classroom. When we come to learn about art we learn things we can take home and show others.”

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